The Perfect Tense
A lot of people wish they were someone else. And some of us would like to exchange parts with other people, keeping what we already like and jettisoning the things we can’t stand. Some people would like to try to change places, just for a day, with maybe someone they admired or even envied, to see what it would be like, to see if it would be what they’d always heard it would be.
Richard Prince, The Perfect Tense, 1987
Have you ever wished to be someone else?
In Spike Jonze’s Being John Malkovich (1999), an unemployed puppeteer interpreted by John Cusack, whilst working for money as file clerk in a New York corporation, finds a small door hidden behind a filing cabinet allowing to enter the mind of actor John Malkovich. Once inside, the experience enables you to observe and sense whatever Malkovich does for fifteen minutes before being ejected and dropped into a ditch near the New Jersey Turnpike. What does it mean to Freudianly own a different gaze, body, living condition, social and ideological position? In this exploration of someone else what traits of yourself will meaningfully be analysed, considered and maybe lost? There will be a desire to change, a wish to inhabit differently the present?
The value and significance of “authenticity” in relation to identity and individual action as well as the work of art, has changed dramatically. Technology has led to a subjectivity lacking representation, unable to differentiate between the real and the mediated experience of it, embracing nomadity, but also emotionally connected to geographies, feeling ubiquitous whilst missing the domestic.
The Perfect Tense is an online collection of links, music, jpgs, texts, artworks and videos selected to allow a diverse approach to knowledge, feedback looping between the context of display and its content. It doesn’t aim to be exhaustive in its selection but to suggest ideas, facts and positions open to be hyperlinked with the viewer’s thinking background. The collection wishes to broadly reflect on a recent shift in affectivity due to the increasing integration of mobility and technology in our daily lives. This shift has changed how we understand and represent individuality, citizenship, and communities, whilst morphing mental and physical collective traits, as well as our sense of history.