Same Difference, 1990
Two channel video installation

Exhibition view:
Willie Doherty “Stories”, Kunstverein Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany, 2007

Two identical slides of the face of a woman, photographed from a television news broadcast, are projected onto two diagonally opposite walls of a dark space. Two different sequences of words are projected on top of these images. One sequence identifies her as MURDERER ... PITILESS ... MURDERER ... MISGUIDED ... MURDERER ... EVIL, etc. The other identifies her as VOLUNTEER ... SENTIMENTAL ... VOLUNTEER ... NOSTALGIC ... VOLUNTEER ... WILD, etc. Each sequence contains a number of identical words, ensuring the possibility taht at some point the same words are superimposedd over each face simultaneously.
“Same Difference” demonstrates that our projection of character onto a portrait is heavily dependent upon the way in which language is used to to contextualize that face and addresses the more unsettling question of how political positions are formed when censorship further limits the possibility of what can be known.

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