An I For An I

1987, 18 min, color, sound

A work of often visceral power, An I For An I is a dynamic cultural statement on the internalization of racism and violence. Andrews assails the cause and effect of institutionalized and mass media exploitation, which he states is "directed at and produced by our culture, attacking the mind and the body." Bold images—a fist punching a stomach, a knife slapping an outstretched palm—convey the impact of what he terms "fighting not to become what we are fighting against." The recurring image and sound of the abdomen being punched are ultimately replaced by Andrews' fist hitting his own hand. In one sequence, he builds an explosive collage of cinematic and media violence, from the mindless warfare of Rambo to blaxploitation and pornography films.

The fragmented structure and juxtapositions of on-screen text, hand-held footage and appropriated imagery impart a tense, urgent rhythm. With the disclaimer, "It's fantasy presented as reality, and should be viewed as such," Andrews ironically places his appropriated footage within on-screen quotation marks. "Self-destruction," he states, "is not a feasible recourse."