Lydia Hannah Debeer
When Holding Still
Lydia Hannah - When Holding Still
video projection on blank canvas, 184 x 327 cm, with stereosound, 14’41”
video & audio by Lydia Debeer
thanks to Laurens Dierickx
When Holding Still (2020)
In the beginning of 2017, I did a research residency at Overtoon in Brussels. At that time personal circumstances forced me to rethink and reframe both my personal and professional life. The atelier was based in an old corner office on the 25th floor of the WTC tower. On a grey winter evening I started to film through my window using an old analogue zoom lens attached to my digital camera. Aiming at the tower of the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, I tried to arrest the image as long as physically possible. From this footage I made a new installation named 25 for my soloshow Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder at the Museum of Moving Practice in Ghent, which opened a few days after my 25th birthday.
Now, three years later, the epidemic of Covid 19 forces not only me, but all of us to take a step back and, if we were lucky, pause and think. During this time most of us have felt more alone than they normally would. For years I was contemplating the idea of reworking the soundtrack of 25, and this felt like the right time to do so. The shift in perspective of the sound in the original soudtrack symbolises how one is confronted more with their own inner world when they are unable to engage with others or absorbed in the ongoing chain activity. When holding still. I wanted to contemplate, through composing a new soundtrack, the more complex mixture of emotions that solitude can bring forward. A haunting loneliness and anxiety on one end of the spectrum, stillness, clarity and possible peace of mind at the other.
When Holding Still will be premiered at Switch Lab in Bucharest on the 13th of November at the occasion of a trio expo together with Anais Chabeur and duo Chloe Op de Beeck & Herman Van Ingelgem. But current circumstances inspired me to share this work with you through the web, to watch in the comforts of your homes.
“Loneliness is by no means a wholly worthless experience, but rather one that cuts right to the heart of what we value and what we need.”
“Cities can be lonely places, and in admitting this we see that loneliness doesn’t necessarily require physical solitude, but rather an absence or paucity of connecion, closeness, kinship: an inability, for one reason or another, to find as much intimacy as is desired.”
-Olivia Laing, The Lonely City