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Archive #001

Medium: Single Channel Video
Date: 2020
Dimensions: Varies

David Baboila

My video Archive #001 is constructed from images which came into my life through the death of a man who had no one left to claim his personal photographs. This work partially examines his life through my understanding of his images and the sparse information provided to me through a man who knew him briefly. From examining these images as memories, I recontextualize them, relying on both the residual and potential meanings which coexist in the archive to generate alternative narratives. 

This work idealizes the notions of community, sexual freedom and openness, utilizing the pacing the slide’s progression to draw attention to and away from certain moments or ideas. Moving through a fraught childhood and a period of time spent in the military, the projectionist lingers on joyful memories of friends and lovers which at times appear utopic, almost Greek-like with the frolicking of naked bodies. The places in these images are specific enough to be real yet abstract enough to create the notion of a dream or idealized reality. Through my own experiences navigating the normative American values of individualism, masculinity and stoicism, I am able to construct a narrative that depicts an idealized (and enormously privileged) pathway beyond these values.