The Flight

The “ Flight” is the title of a film installation which is essentially concerned with the phenomenology of memory repression. The condition was first recognised by the psychologist Sigmund Freud, who wrote:” the essence of repression lies simply in the function of rejecting and keeping something out of consciousness”. Freud went on to explore various types of repression, one of which he termed, “fugue”, literally meaning “ flight”, which he defined as an extended episode of acting as a different person. In a particular case study Freud referred to an incident during active war service. A patient, who had been a soldier/bike messenger on a hazardous journey through the front lines, lost his memory quite suddenly, probably due to shell shock. He regained it some hours later, when he found himself many miles adrift of his unit.My film takes up this story in a more contemporary context. The main character is in a similar “war zone “, the modern inner city, surrounded by a cacophony of sound and image. A deep personal conflict, coupled with a near collision with a bus, triggers the fugue phenomenon causing him to flee, both literally and metaphorically, from unbearable circumstances. He takes refuge in amnesia.Although startled and bewildered he eventually returns to his previous conscious state. He has no recall of his journey yet is aware that he is in an unknown place. He must return to where he began. Remembering the location the sequence begins once again.

According to Freud a process of continuance is characteristic of this type of repression. In my film I exploit the condition of the character trapped in a cycle of reoccurrence and aim to instil in the viewer a fetishistic desire to share his fate.

The highly subjective state of amnesia is developed through the lens as a surreal world of colour and signs, a state of suspended animation.

A Road Once Travelled
The installation “A road once travelled” was designed to coexist with the film “The flight”. It was constructed to facilitate the shooting of the amnesia sequence.

The installation is a static residue left after filming- an immobile section from the most dynamic part of the shooting process. It is a kind of physical memory, a mnemonic, of a journey in “The flight” – a freeze – frame of the descent into loss of memory/ loss of conscious awareness. It is also the set for a film made in the past.

Within the installation itself is a film, a back projection, of a road once travelled, trapped in celluloid, forever repeated.