Testament – My Meds
(Maastricht / Maasboulevard 5)
Natalie Bookchin (1962) is mostly inspired by American video diaries from the internet. In the enormous selection, she looked for subjects such as isolation and mass connectivity, labour relations, and online DIY (Do-It-Yourself ) dance videos. By bringing these ‘diary volumes’ together, giving a specific order to the fragments and placing them in another context, Bookchin presents the viewer with an extraordinary mix of intimacy and anonymity, connection and isolation. The triptych Testament is a powerful example of a contemporary visual archive in which individuals react to one another, contradict each other, or seemingly repeat one another. Testament resembles a choir in which many ‘soloists’ are in the spotlight for a short time only. Two of her pieces from the triptych Testament are shown in Paraphrasing Babel: My Meds in Maastricht and Laid Off in Heerlen. In My Meds, different people read a long and rhythmic list of psychopharmaceutical drugs that have been prescribed to them. On the one hand, the piece reflects our medicated society; on the other hand, the piece also shows how people now publicly speak about something that was once considered private. Personal events and traumas are transformed into social and public experiences.
Another piece by Natalie Bookchin is the piece Laid Off (also part of Testament) is shown in Heerlen, Dr. Poelstraat 8.