Akeroyd Collection


Tiffany Sia, What Rules The Invisible, 2022

What Rules The Invisible upturns archival travelogue footage shot in Hong Kong with non-linear, non-chronological footage that spans decades. The reappropriated amateur footage, from across the 20th century, is reimagined as distanced, distorted and even voyeuristic. The footage encompasses landscapes, sometimes cityscapes or street scenes and scenes of the construction of the city. Often, the sequences that include people, tend toward the marginal and ghostly. The grainy footage obscures detail or the peculiar cropping of bodies, actions and faces that make their presence distant and unknowable. Like visual prose or poetry, Sia’s film is somehow literary, taking the form of an essay or cultural study. This is grounded in the use of occasional intertitles of white text on black, that intermittently punctuate the footage with an oral history of Hong Kong, as told by Sia’s mother. She describes colonial police, poverty, hunger, and the more visceral side of experiencing life under occupation such as searching for food in horse excrement or having to clear the human lavatories. Most poignantly of all, the various hauntings in Kowloon of the post-war era are described. The viewer is left to imagine these scenes and is free to ask, how are ghosts governed? How do the ghosts of the oppressed and the oppressor get along? What rules over what cannot be seen?

MediumHD video with sound
Duration9 minutes 50 seconds
Editionof 3 + 2 APs