Zombie Loop

2-channel video, 2006

The zombie, among other "undead" monsters, is the definitive horror creature thanks to its abject existence – robbed of identity, neither fully dead nor fully alive, neither clever nor resourceful, and driven only by its hunger for flesh. The central dilemma of the sub-genre of zombie films is that the survivor must outrun and therefore outlive the zombie. Victims turn into zombies, therefore to be caught and find oneself zombified is the most horrifying resolution. The sub-genre plots survivors on the move and ever vigilant, or temporarily holed-up and sleeping with one eye open. It is impossibly difficult to escape zombies, despite the fact that with little exception they move agonizingly slowly. Although it should be easy to escape them, the earliest victims are those paralyzed by their own fear.

Zombie Loop is an installation featuring two video projections on facing walls that position the viewer in the center of a visual loop between a gruesome shuffling zombie in pursuit of a terrified running victim. The zombie, filmed from the front, stumbles expressionless but threatening, towards its goal of catching the survivor. The survivor runs, occasionally glancing over her shoulder and exclaiming in fear as she becomes aware of the imminent danger. In the scenarios, filmed on a country road in Avoca, Wisconsin, it is obvious that the zombie and the survivor are somehow the same, referencing the genre’s implied life-cycle where the living become the undead and the undead want only to consume the living. Here, no one is caught and no one escapes - therefore this cinematic loop denies the audience a satisfying ending.

Locating the viewers physically between the two roles positions them as either the pursued just out of reach of danger, or the pursuer hungering for its prey, depending on which way they direct their gaze.

~steadicam, Beckley Roberts

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above. installation images, artMovingProjects Gallery, Brooklyn. below. installation documentation.