2 channel HD video installation
HD video, 16mm film, 35 mm black & white slide still film to digital transfer
Running time: 14:07
Installation photos: Courtesy of Smack Mellon/Etienne Frossard
Filmed in the countryside of Finland and in New Hampshire, Summer McCorkle’s two-channel video piece, des abends, combines a fictional narrative recounted over images of snowy landscapes, with excerpts from Mary Shelley’s 1818 novel Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus woven throughout. McCorkle wrote and filmed this piece over a period of time while her father grappled with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. The film resembles a visual poem that explores memory, discovery, loss, and the struggle to comprehend an unfamiliar world. A sense of loneliness pervades, as the female narrator reflects on the surreal effects that the short winter days and harsh landscape can have on the mind. Meanwhile, a male voiceover weaves in and out of her storyline, reciting passages from Frankenstein in which the creature struggles to understand his surroundings and strives to express his thoughts and feelings. Both of their stories address grief and coming to terms with things we cannot control. Piano music from Robert Schumann’s Fantasiestücke Op. 12 no. 1, Des Abends (1837) is played throughout this piece. The score for the film was composed of excerpts of the piano player learning the piece until they could finally play it in full. These passages and fragments reflect a struggle in the mind between learning and forgetting.