Tova Mozard in conversation with
Mozard’s videos shift between the staged and the documentary. Her portraiture is intrusive, while parts also keep us at a distance. In her exhibition His Highness in a Ditch, she contrasts boyhood with masculinity and childlike playfulness with archetypal figures of authority. The exhibition explores different methods of storytelling: the unfolding of a fictional narrative; a documentary about individuals trying to live their own story; the telling a story from memory, and where these overlap.
Two Cops (2019) takes place in a park on the Hollywood hills, between Beverly Hills, Hollywood and Studio City, a common hiking destination for actors to walk around and practice for various film roles. The film follows two extras who are preparing to play the role of policemen. Steve and Eric Cohen, the identical twins who play the two police officers, are both professional extras. Dressed in their police uniforms, the men aimlessly walk around the park and talk about how they should act as policemen, how they’re supposed to move, talk and look. Referencing Hollywood films, the characters are copies of a copy, a type of mise-en-abyme.
In Repertoire (2014) we are presented with a character who is also concerned with the portrayal of himself. A man digs a hole in the earth while he describes his life and reflects on the events that defined it along the way. By looking back on parts of his own history he comes closer to some form of reconciliation with it, facing his struggles with grief, love and loss.
In the reflections on memories and piecing together a story, words are at the same time the anchor in reality, as well as the cage for our narrative. Telling and retelling of one’s own stories inadvertently turns the people in those stories into characters — who bears responsibility, the storyteller or is it the environment that produced them?