Line of Duty
Line of Duty explores contractual mimicry, embodied spectatorship and investigates the ways in which we are co-created and contingent upon one another. When we enter the installation, we see the projected figure of a female soldier standing next to footlocker which is mirrored on the floor in the physical space of the audience. Through gestures that mimic hers, such as putting on her flak jacket or standing at attention, we are in a mimetic relationship to the figure, sometimes controlling the figure and sometimes being controlled by it. Additional coding and fabrication for this project was provided by Rob Duarte.
As we approach the soldier, she reaches for her flack jacket in the footlocker, and repeats gestures of putting it on, calling us to do the same. By putting on her jacket, we enter into her world, and are further called to stand at attention until she sinks against the wall in a sitting position.This position, the “sit-out”, is a painful hazing or disciplinary position. In front of us is the chair, and when we sit to mirror her, we are in the same position as the soldier, but physically supported where as the soldier struggles to maintain the painful wall-sit. As we shift on the chair, we learn that our position controls the flow of her struggle. Leaning back forces the video to continue, while leaning forward slows and disrupts it. Yet leaning back drives the virtual figure further along the path of suffering, while we, on the other hand, sit relaxed. Her image at time jumps forward and backward in micro jolts that accentuate and materialize the discontinuity of her traumatic experience