Art | Work in progress
Early in his career as filmmaker, Sachisthal earned a supplementary income editing pornography. Years later, he accidentally discovered 11 hours of raw, unedited footage on a discarded hard drive. While reviewing the footage he noticed that the tape ran on between takes, documenting off-screen interactions before and after scenes. Intrigued by this, he started to go over the videos, frame by frame, selecting pertinent moments; capturing evocative stills. From this excavated material, emerged PERIPHERY. This print and light box series is a work in progress, currently comprised of 22 transmogrified, glitchy video stills, where naked and out-of-focus figures gather against luminescent backdrops; pixelated and distorted as a result of faulty mini-DV tapes and interlaced video scanning. The effect is one of distant voyeurism and heightened sensibility: a similar sensation to being in a strobe-lit nightclub and zoning into a particular person or encounter. Overt sexuality is only subtly hinted at. Sachisthal also plays with the psychology of desire, arousal, and eroticism. Scenes that would ordinarily be explicit and hardcore are instead hazy, creating an allure in knowing that the ‘explicit’ is just out of frame.
PERIPHERY as a title is apt for many reasons, from its consideration of the fringe of the action and the unintended intimacy it hosts; to it being borne from discarded footage; pornography being a marginalised art form and employment sector; and queerness being widely non-normative and still persecuted.
Text: Lindsey Raymond