I work across video and photography, but primarily I make large-scale video-art installations. My works are based in documentary techniques but undermine journalistic empiricism by constructing fractured yet idealistic narratives told by a radical, subaltern, sacrificial Other. The installations are constructed of multiple screens to create an immersive experience both total and fragmented. I have filmed in warzones, churches, banks, and bedrooms from Syria to Nigeria to Hollywood.
My videos are about militancy and ecstasy: revolutions and terrorists, miracles and saints. The characters in my films wrestle their agency from the structures that would control them, including language, reason, gender, God, capital, and the state. Their action is also a performance: they rebell against the small roles society has cast for them, they reimagine themselves, and then they act as their greater selves. Thus, my videos move from documentary to fiction: I don’t report objective facts, but represent subjective belief so devout that it becomes real. My work examine events in which ideas become material, performance becomes authentic, word becomes deed, transcendence becomes immanent, or mythology becomes history.
My films often quote from religion and mythology, and the images recall pre-modern painting and iconography. But the characters are non-fictional, and the narratives are driven along the political axis of feminism and anti-imperialism. Still, the language that constructs these narratives undermines the reliability of the narrators. Scripture, revelation, confession, bearing witness, and poetry are the tropes through which my characters simultaneously rely on a higher authority and undermine their own.