Altered to Suit

Lawrence Weiner

1979 | 00:22:30 | United States | English | B&W | 4:3 | 16mm film

Collection: Early Video Art, Single Titles

Tags: Film Theory

The whole story takes place in the mise-en-scene of the artist's studio. The delicate psychological allegory of "a day in the life of..." anchors the displacement of (filmic) reality and the alienation of the (player's) self. Devices such as incongruity between the image and the soundtrack, odd camera angles, and plays on objective focus, are integral and explicit components of the narrative. Altered to Suit diverges from preceding films in that the dialogue is not solely related to the work; rather the work serves as a central frame of reference from which the story unfolds. This is also the first time that the narrative dominates the structure of the film. Shot in black and white, the photgraphy is sensual and seductive. 

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Stream Single Title

Title Awards Image Major Exhibitions/Festivals Description
Sea in the Blood

Equal First Prize for Best Male Short, Inside Out, Toronto Lesbian and Gay Film Festival

Sea in the Blood

OutFest (LA, CA.), 2001

Rotterdam International Film Festival (The Netherlands), 2001

 

Athens Int'l Film/Video Festival (OH), 2001

 

 

Sea In The Blood is a personal documentary about living with illness, tracing the relationship of the artist to thalassemia in his sister Nan, and AIDS in his partner Tim. At the core of the piece are two trips. The first is in 1962, when Richard went from Trinidad to England with Nan to see a famous hematologist interested in her unusual case. The second is in 1977 when Richard and Tim made the counterculture pilgrimage from Europe to Asia. The relationship with Tim blossomed, but Nan died before their return. The narrative of love and loss is set against a background of colonialism in the Caribbean and the reverberations of migration and political change.

"Sea in the Blood was to be a meditation on race, sexuality and disease, but after working with the material for three years, it was the emotional story that came through. It's hard to work with such personal material, but in the end the work takes on a life of its own. 'Richard' is a character. Because of the subject matter — disease and death — I wanted to avoid sentimentality. I'd like the audience to think as well as feel."

— Richard Fung