Safe and sound

Beth Hall and Mark Cooley’s Safe

(Photo by Henry Chan)

A 60-minute loop of text fragments and images. The text – often describing chemicals, environmental damage, issues surrounding health and safety – slides past, over close-up images of the daily domestic childcare rituals: flossing teeth, brushing hair, washing hands. The text is histrionic, the images soft; the text scientific, the images organic; the text hard and broken, the images soft and sweet – small hands, little clean mouth, cute feet in the tub. This is all set to the soundtrack of a heartbeat as caught on a baby heartbeat monitor.

In Safe, there is a juxtaposition, as in parenthood, between the mundane and the hysterical.

We live in an age of information overload. And yet, we seem to know less about everything. We seem to want to call on our experts to wade in on the most natural tasks. Here is their advice:

“Mongrel dog who walks, maltitol syrup, enzymes our bodies use to keep, analyze paint chips or dust.”

“Bypass cribs, bureaus symptoms ease. The classic grilled cheese. Unsubstantiated and unacceptable cadmium though none failed the stomach. 2% milk harmful production process and its effects. Polyoxylethel…”

“Roundup effects, defensive energy.”

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