Sue de Beer – 500 words on ‘The Ghosts’

One of Artforum’s February ‘500 Words’ was artist Sue de Beer talking about The Ghosts, her film and installation for the Art Production Fund. De Beer has continuously folded horror and gothic influences into her photography and films through a cinematically macbare representation of the past, the historical, memory, and youth culture.

ORIGINALLY I WANTED TO MAKE A GIALLO––a very classic version, with ghosts in it. During the course of the narrative development I began to undergo a series of hypnosis, and I also started going to a sensory deprivation tank in Berlin. So I began to wonder about intersections between the physiological and the psychological, or about ways to take your conscious mind to a place that is unconscious but still visible––a place that produces images. It was then that I began to conceive of a character that was very much in a giallo––an occult hypnotist. After I completed the basic outline for the script, I asked Alissa Bennett to write a text for the hypnotist, where the hypnotist talks about ghosts and the way ghosts inhabit a room––leaving traces of its former occupancy, clues for present and future residents. I also asked her to write a text for a character who repeatedly visits the hypnotist, to experience a more vivid sort of “recollection.” Alissa named this “the material recollection.”

Visit: Recent exhibition at Marianne Boesky gallery Depiction of a Star Obscured by Another Figure