An Individual Desires Solution (1986)
Black and White / Color
Dedicated to Kevin Wakefield Cristy, November 12, 1957 - October 26, 1985
Digital transfer by Gordon Nelson, The George Eastman Museum, Rochester NY, USA
Considered the first experimental film to come out of the early years of the AIDS crisis
A structural cine poem concerning the mystery of death through the struggle for answers and survival of my boyfriend Kevin, who passed away on my birthday in Sussex, England. Before Kevin died, he asked me to redefine the acronym AIDS as An Individual Desires Solution – hence the title. The titles of text in the first section are transcriptions from the frantic phone calls with Kevin as he describes his life with the disease, searching for treatments, and coping with ignorance, acceptance, and suffering. The sound in the second section is of Kevin’s voice, recorded over long-distance telephone lines and then re-recorded on multiple tracks. This distortion transcends language by focusing on the sound of the struggling voice while also creating a rhythmic and atmospheric counterpoint to the images.
The second section consists of images of Kevin in his apartment and images taken from a train window. These images are in constant motion, mutating and dissolving and always abstracting into light. Structurally bound together and materialist in nature, the images function metaphorically for the absolute terror and pain experienced by Kevin and myself. The journey was indescribable, and all I could do was hold onto Kevin and the camera as he suffered far away from me. All I had were the images to edit through the helplessness.