In April of 1999, Austrian filmmaker Martin Arnold arrived to install Alone. Life wastes Andy Hardy as a perpetual 16mm loop and screen a number of his works. Arnold samples benign scenes of domestic life from classic Hollywood movies and reconfigures them into mesmerizing aural-visual compositions. These startling compositions, horrific progeny of the original, manifest new human gestures. Peculiarly unfamiliar and revealing, they punish the original footage’s repression and subtexts of sex and violence with humour and irony. Alone. Life wastes Andy Hardy, shown as a 16mm film loop installation for the first time, affords the viewer, in this particular manifestation, double scrutiny: not only do fragments of gestures unfurl to close observation through repetition, but the entire work can now be repeatedly viewed, the composition becoming more familiar with each viewing (much like the gradual familiarity of oft heard music).
The edits form a sound composition that stutters its way to the surface of the viewers experience. In Arnold’s work the sound, rather than playing a subordinate role to the image, takes on a unique and equitable presence within the manipulated narrative. Liberated from its conventional function of affirming and embellishing the narrative, it tends to disrupt the usually seamless experience of cinema, reminding the viewer of process. This is augmented by the projector advancing the sprockets, fleetingly audible in the quieter seconds of the work.