Forever Live: The Case of K. Gun

François Bucher

2006 | 00:12:35 | Colombia / Germany / United Kingdom | French | Color | Mono | 4:3 | DV video

Collection: Single Titles

Tags: History, Installation, Language, Literature, Middle East, Politics

This installation is based on the re-enactment of Franz Kafka’s allegory "Before the Law", interpreted live over a telephone line by Katharine Gun. Gun was a translator (specializing in Chinese to English translations), working with the British secret service, who chose to leak information compromising the U.S. and U.K. governments in their push for a U.N. resolution for the invasion of Iraq. Gun disclosed their plans to illegally wiretap the delegations of the Security Council holding the balance of power at the U.N.  She was acquitted when it became clear to the government of the U.K. that her court case would become a trial on the war’s legality.  At the time of Bucher’s recording, Kafka’s text was completely new to Gun, as she translated the allegory live from Chinese to English.

In 2005 Bucher met Katharine Gun in her hometown in Cheltenham, England. They agreed to collaborate on a project that entailed remobilizing her image within the parameters of a different discourse; one that would steal her image from the trivializations of media terminology, such as “whistle blower” and reconnect her action to a more significant dimension.  This is the first part of that project.

Prizes + Awards

2nd Prize, Fair Play, Berlin


Bard College, Center for Cultural Studies
New York, NY

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