Using video and sound, The Watch Man explores the conflict between trauma memory and the need for a coherent ‘life story’ through the experience of an 80 year old watchmaker, who as a 19 year old experienced one of the most deeply affecting and shocking events of the Second World War.
With successive generations living with the after effects of traumatic experience, this moving and evocative work reveals the personal impact of conflict on an individual over time. It is made in dialogue with neuro-psychologist Professor Martin A. Conway, whose internationally recognised expertise on trauma memory, confabulation and the role of memory in the formation of a sense of self has informed the complex structure of this work.
The video lingers on prosaic details of the watchmaker’s workshop and living space, gradually encapsulating an enclosed and disconnected world that is set in stark contrast to a dark, disrupting and persistent trauma memory. A complex sound composition will surround the viewer, locating sounds high above their heads and resonating through the charged, reflective surface of a specially constructed floor beneath their feet.
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