the canaries

Two channel video, 17:40”.

bypassing language by activating flashes of light pulsing at 40 Hz, which is said to cause the brain to release a surge of signaling chemicals that can help fight Alzheimer’s disease—a chronic degenerative disease that impairs memory. The story of the canaries, which were brought to Europe in the 15th century by Spanish sailors, and served coal miners to warn against the presence of toxic gases in the mines. In this context, the phrase “canary in a coal mine” alludes to someone or something that is an early warning of an impending crisis; Vardi intertwines shots she filmed in different places and times with found footage, constructing two similar yet different loops—documentary narratives repeated obsessively. This repetition, which simulates the processes of memory and forgetting experienced by everyone, reminds us which narrative we have forgotten or chosen to repress, forget, and send to oblivion.


film excerpt

installation view

film stills