I You We features a parade of friends and acquaintances at the time, each saying to the camera a movie title commencing with "I", "You" or "We". They each appear to be declaring something important, dramatic, confessional, but of course they're all completely detached from the implied content of the words. Part Brechtian in its distancing of language, and part-Warholian in its funtime-exploitation of a circle of friends, I You We typifies the strong textual focus of many → ↑ → films and videos of the time.
Camera, editing, script & direction - Philip Brophy
Uncredited cast (in order of appearance) - Brian Simpson, Juan Davila, Graham ?, Dale Putting, [unknown], Paul Taylor, Bill McDonald, Peter Lawrence, Linda Baron, Andrew Preston, Adrian Martin, [unknown], Bryce Menzies, Kate ?, Warren Burt, [unknown], Louise Brophy, Robert Goodge, Merryn Gates, Tim Gates, Vivienne Archdall, Philip More land, Melanie Brelis, Tim ?, Andrea Jones, Trish Vigiano, Ian Cox, Gerard Hayes, Maria Kozic, Jayne Stevenson, Jennifer Phipps, John ?, Rolando Caputo, Paul Fletcher, Chris Wyatt, Dean Richards, Julie Purvis, David Chesworth, [unknown], Patrick Jones, Lynn Venning, Ralph Traviato, Philip Brophy, ?, George Spencer, Peter Cole, John Laurie, Andrew Heep, [unknown], [unknown], [unknown], Ian Haig, John Dunkley-Smith, [unknown], Henry Talbot, Gayle Slater, Miriam ?.
Student Cultural Centre, Belgrade
FUTURFALL - Bondi Pavilion Theatre, Sydney
PIRATES & MUTINEERS - Roslyn Oxley Gallery, Sydney
STATE OF THE ART - Metro Television, Sydney Praxis, Fremantle
Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth
Houdini Theatre, Zurich
Time Based Arts, Amsterdam
I You We was originally shot on Super 8 in 1982 for inclusion in the exhibition ART IN THE AGE OF MECHICAL REPRODUCTION, curated by Judy Annear for the George Paton Gallery in Melbourne. It was remade one year later on lo-band U-matic video. A subtitled tele-text was added for the video version.
Shooting took place over one night at Philip & Maria's studio, and one day at Preston Institute of Technology.
All film titles recited are actual.
I was listening to someone talking. Their voice became a tonal blur. This thing, that thing, etc. etc. etc. After a while I noticed that the stream of words was being punctuated by one particular word. The word was "I". The more I heard it, the more crystalline it became. I began to see it as the definitive word one could give to oneself: "I". One word - a word that projected inwards .... declaring its speaker as a voice, as an "I" that talks.
I heard the "I" telling me everything and nothing. I this, I that, etc. The voice became a tautological machine - I heard it, but I wasn't listening to it. I was drawn inwards - towards the "I". I could see the words swirling around and around the eye of the tornado; the "I" of Language. The talking went on. I was still listening ....
By this stage, I was hovering elsewhere. Were the words true or false? Was the "I" a centre of falsehood or truth? I was suspended at the point of interpretation; of belief; of analysis; of comprehension. A headline .... a politician .... an autobiography .... a movie star .... a confession .... a slogan .... a film title .... telling me everything and nothing, etc. etc. etc.
I fell asleep. You were still talking. In my dreams we were dancing. The floor was empty but there wasn't enough room.I You We video still (Maria Kozic & Gerard Hayes) © 1983