Pioneering author of female erotica Anais Nin once said, “We don’t see things as they are; we see them as we are.” I was reminded of this upon first viewing artist kiki de coeur’s quietly devastating moving image piece, Apples of Childhood. With elements of childhood at the forefront, and vapors of unspoken desire and hopelessness gently wafting through the air, Apples of Childhood is able to cover a wide spectrum of human emotions inside three and half minutes. The first image we see is that of a young girl being drawn inexplicably back in time. It is wonderfully disturbing, and plants itself in one’s memory; long after the video has ended. In that moment, the artist was able to express an utterly important human phenomena; ephemeral joy. This is quickly followed by something unknown, or cold, or simply void of substance. Following along sequentially, after walking about in a patch of green grass, there is a slow transition to a dream-like scene of childhood dancing. After a few quick cuts, exposing odd, purposefully uncomfortable glimpses of face and legs, the video finally settles down for a moment, as we bare witness to a piece of white lace being manipulated into a blindfold of sorts. This is appropriately followed by images of a now blindfolded girl, stumbling about in that same green patch of grass, as she tries to regain her bearings. Still blinded, we then see her struggle, as she crawls on hands and knees, searching the ground for apples, apparently having fallen from some unseen tree. Just as she is about to finish collecting all the apples, the viewer experiences a heart-wrenching moment, as she leaves one behind, seemingly never to be had. In a final poetic twist, we watch in slow motion as the girl discards all the apples she had collected. We suddenly realize how worthless all these apples are to her, without the one that was lost. That final seen clearly speaks to moments or experiences that some children may miss in their childhood. We are reminded how deeply our childhood, for better or for worse, can affect the rest of our lives, in ways most of us will never be ready to deal with. Apples of Childhood is an incredibly important piece of art, because it takes us on a journey through melancholy memories we might sometimes wish to avoid.
KIKI DE COEUR: http://kikidecoeur.com/
Article by Drew Ford
Author and Critic Drew Ford has been widely published in art magazines and blogs, including articles, reviews and interviews in a diverse group of publications, fromArt Asia Pacific to Juxtapoz.