Made in the year after SARS crisis, the video re-visits the images collected from the Toronto and international media. For the record, Toronto (Canada) was the only non-Asian city that was significantly affected by the epidemic. The city was stigmatized by some isolated cases that began from a carrier back from a visit in Asia.
Through all black and white re-photographed pictures, all we can see is the darkness of a time passed, a city under attacks and assaults, politicians scrambling for words of comfort, citizens living in a state of fear, distrust, paranoia and shame. How are we to make from those few months that seemed to last forever? As if we were in the dark ages, at the time we thought we would never come out of it again.
The video, by referencing the weaknesses within human nature, indirectly refers to the problematic media attention in a world we have created. If the media is the message, the video questions its biases and truthfulness? In order to re-create this uncomfortable time, the mediated and degraded images and the audio purposely resonate each other to reveal the sense of self-doubt, disgust and the feeling of almost approaching a state of abjection.
The project was shot in low light situation using a consumer camcorder and therefore creating the resulting unstable signals that the camcorder was set to detect and contain (unsuccessfully in this case). In such a way, the video almost parallels the medical scientific process in the present day bacterial warfare.
Using video technology in the production process but referencing the languages of experimental films, In the dark also pays homage to the avant-garde filmmaker Stan Brakhage (1933 - 2003), who passed away about the same time as the SARS outbreak.
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