Akeroyd Collection


Kenneth Tam, sump, 2015

sump documents a series of invented rituals between the artist and his father. Shot in the basement of the artist’s father’s home, the silent proximity of the two men heightens their emotional ties and tensions. In the bathroom, they apply black cosmetic products to each other’s bodies like drawing with ink, they stand under plastic sheeting together in the confined space of the shower while water runs, and they sit in the bathtub and blow-up balloons. In the closet, they pull at each other’s elastic waistbands, and in the dark, they stare at the glow of a laptop screen. They apply adhesive tape and cereal to one another and ride on each other’s backs around the house. sump explores the space they both occupy. The physical intimacy that is clearly produced by the confined conditions allows their bodies to behave as stand-ins for the emotional and interpersonal tensions that exist in the father/son relationship. The wordless exchanges typify the way people are able to communicate through acts of silence. The video is a document of both intimacy and familial connection but also perhaps a metaphor for the complexity of such relationships and the difficulty of holding such close ties.

MediumSingle-channel video
Duration7 minutes 42 seconds
Editionof 3 + 1 AP