"Helen and Annie/Birdie Jo Infusion Inversion," production still (2002)

"Helen and Annie/Birdie Jo Infusion Inversion," production still, 2002
Performers: Roberta Randall, Sarah Taylor. From "Big Hunt," five channels shot on 16mm film transferred to video, projected from DVD, 21 min 48 sec per channel, black and white, silent
© Catherine Sullivan

"All these sources or models had to do with the paradox- the strange cultural fixation- that we find pleasure in the misfortunes of others. With regard to the popular films, I was questioning why the ascendance of an actor is expressed through the affliction of a character. Why- in order to demonstrate mastery as an actor- does one have to play someone who’s disfigured, deformed, or psychotic? It’s an odd paradox- that in order to demonstrate one’s craft, one has to do it through that kind of role. I had an acting teacher once who said, ‘If you can do this- play blindness or disease or psychosis- then as an actor you’re really hunting the big game.’ (And that’s my title, ‘Big Hunt.’)" - Catherine Sullivan ...

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"All these sources or models had to do with the paradox- the strange cultural fixation- that we find pleasure in the misfortunes of others. With regard to the popular films, I was questioning why the ascendance of an actor is expressed through the affliction of a character. Why- in order to demonstrate mastery as an actor- does one have to play someone who’s disfigured, deformed, or psychotic? It’s an odd paradox- that in order to demonstrate one’s craft, one has to do it through that kind of role. I had an acting teacher once who said, ‘If you can do this- play blindness or disease or psychosis- then as an actor you’re really hunting the big game.’ (And that’s my title, ‘Big Hunt.’)"

- Catherine Sullivan

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