2013 Finalists

Our only concern is the void, 2013

by Nik Lee

Winner, 2013
Duration: 12 minutes
Single-channel HD digital video

Artist's statement

Jean-Paul Sartre’s existentialist theories informed youth culture in postwar France. The unique social and political conditions of the time afforded teenagers the opportunity to explore and reflect on existence. In this digital portrait I explore contemporary youth culture through the performance by eighteen-year-old actor Henry Strong of a complex passage from Sartre’s novel Nausea. The loops of thought in the text and Henry’s struggle to interpret and perform them call into question the roles we play in life. Me as the interviewer, Henry as the actor, Sartre as the writer and you as the audience cannot escape our roles and consequently this informs our existence.