Akeroyd Collection


Rei Hayama, On the Collinear and Reflected on the Water, 2018

Two different reels of footage, both depicting an emu at a zoo, jump cut over the duration of this short film. In each, we see the animal behind the bars of a cage and at one point a single tear drops from the emu’s eye and falls to the ground. Over the top, we hear the clamouring of a film projector and the repeating, tautological poem that describes viewing the emu just as we are. The poem’s relentless repetition and elasticity of form offer a kind of literary hall of mirrors. We hear the voice say; ‘when I see the emu at the zoo, I’m reflected in the eye of the emu, when I see myself watching the emu, I’m falling as a drop and I’m a human being watching an emu at the zoo, in my eye emu is reflected, in a falling drop from the eye of emu, looking at me, when I see the emu at the zoo, I’m reflected in the eye of the emu…’ It continues, infinitely looping, taking us deeper and deeper into the tautology, and penetrating further into the sadness of the emu’s plight. The work seems to inscribe us as human observers, complicit in the sadness of the animals we dominate.

Medium8mm film, Fuji Single-8 daylight transfer to digital, sound by Rei Hayama
Duration3 minutes 50 seconds
Editionof 5