Mayhem. Is This What You Were Born For? Part 6

Mayhem. Is This What You Were Born For? Part 6

“A homage to Film Noir, soap opera thrillers and Mexican comic books generating the action. Perversely and equally inspired by Sade’s Justine and Vertov’s sentences about the satiric detective advertisement, Mayhem is my attempt to create a film in which sound is the character and to do so focussing on sexuality and the erotic. Not so much to undo the entrapment (we fear what we desire, we desire what we fear), but to frame fate, show up the rotation, upset the common, and incline our contradictions towards satisfaction, albeit conscious.”

Abigail Child


“Abigail Child’s series Is This What You Were Born For? is one of the most assured and important projects to have emerged over the last decade. Constructing from and subverting a wide galaxy of source materials, these films are archeological digs into the very stuff, the conceptions, we are born into. Child decomposes the materials and gestures that would compose us. The films are charged with a startling and playful musicality and poetic and rigorous compression. Each image and sound cuts deep and works over time containing hidden and unhidden detonations working against the manufactured ambush that images have in store. Agile dances through treacherous debris, they negotiate an obstacle course of polar anatomies zig-zagging with corkscrew twists and nuclear splits – a gambol against the hazards. Detournements , deviations, disruptions, allures. Can aggression be sumptuous? These films are volatile and they have bite. Here the subliminal cannot caress, it comes out with its hands up, the smile wiped from its face. The accelerated velocity of these films doesn’t create an alternate camouflage. At this speed viewer passivity is unsafe and active viewing is a necessary pleasure. We are provoked to get up to speed, to be resourceful, dance, break step. These films put a spin on things. Shift the coordinates. The peripheries relocate to the core drawn by the centrifugal force of the editing. Posing a threat to threatening poses these frictions erupt with new clarity.”

Mark McElhatten

UPDATED ON 27.08.2019