Island Song/Island Monologue

1976, 31:34 min, b&w, sound

These two works, both produced on the island of St. Pierre, a French territory off the coast of Newfoundland, confront confinement, isolation and powerlessness. In Island Song, Palestine straps a video camera to a motorcycle and then drives around the island as though searching for an escape. His chanting voice merges with the vibrations of the motor, forming an incessant soundtrack that echoes the jarring motion of the camera. The piece concludes with a close-up of rocks on the beach, where Palestine's journey ends. In Island Monologue, this theme is extended to an attempt to escape the island in a thick fog. The fog-shrouded island becomes a metaphor for psychological confinement, as Palestine struggles to get away, hide, or see through the fog, while keeping up a running monologue about his desperation. He finally reaches a lighthouse, where the beacon acts as a release, burning through the fog as it calmly revolves.

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