Célia Hay

Poem-film for everything we’ve lost (2023)
Film installation
Duration 2’21 minutes (loop), Super 8 color 4/3, silent

    Poem-film for everything we’ve lost stages a wake in the form of a visual lament through a silent Super 8 film playing in loop. Participants are invited to enter a room filled with candles and lilies and take a moment to rest and meditate on all the people or things they have lost as I read a poem. Pamphlets are distributed to the participants so they can read the poem with me, in the manner of a funeral service, in a suspended, dreamlike atmosphere of intimacy and contemplation.

    Understanding loss beyond the individual experience, this work also calls for the mourning of intangible things such as the movement of time, the ‘death’ of the season, a past self, an abandoned project, or an idea we do not believe in anymore, towards the possibility of a collective experience of mourning. The film’s images consist of enigmatic, visual metaphors for life and death, not so much for the sake of creating a representations of loss, but to offer an embodiment of grief, a container, through this multimedia approach where participants can take a moment to themselves, a time for recollection and inner experience. I thus hope to create a quiet space for introspection and mental rest, but also disquiet and unease.