Video filmed in hi8, digitalized tapes – filmed by Carmen Gray
duration 12 min
Négociation captures daily gestures of care between mother and child; washing feet, combing hair (from lice), cutting nails. A form of constant negotiation arises where both parties resist, attempt to dominate or eventually surrender to each other. The video is overlaid by a voice-over reading from the artistic essay Resilient Beings.
Your feet are what I remember from your first hour. It’s a cliché we all know, I had to count your toes to make sure they were only ten. Feet like your father’s, animal shaped, cutest platypus. My best collaborative project, mixing genes and brewing for a while; no one can contest I did all the work. Holding these tiny weapons that kicked my insides and stretched my belly as a reclined rectangle. Otter-feet roaming the nest to run away. I hold them tight in my hands, elongated treasures you refuse to wash. Bare-foot world explorer, you proudly carry your dirt, I wonder; does it protect you?
– “I am your mother and I want you clean: will you ever surrender?”
Negotiate. I learned to negotiate with you. I will try again.
Ne-go-ci-a-tion = it’s only five syllables, shouldn’t be that hard!
You ask me :
– “Mummy, why are you always angry?”
I struggle further as my daughter resists cleaning. She would rather be dirty than submit to my will. I run after her, right hand adorned with a dripping washing glove. Soap spills everywhere, I give up and throw the wet glove to the floor, defeated. As always, she wins over me.