A Third Space, 2014-2016, single channel video, 7:41
Produced with an overhead projector, Downey’s video explores relationality through the concept of a handle, the material object that mediates connections between our bodies and the world, or between one body and another. It is used as a perpetually transforming image made of multiple of meanings: a handle grants access, it is used as support, it is a linguistic sign; it is a symbol of the libidinal, or as a “part-object,” it is the way we psychically relate to others in our environment. Downey is interested in frames of recognition, the processes by which we come to know or love or experience an “other.” Playing with how we are socialized through language, Downey makes the object slippery. It is hard to get a grip. Some situations are hard to handle. As text and imagery move in and out of comprehension, it’s unclear if we are learning a language or forgetting one.