The Weight I Feel

“Trauma and memories have a way of manifesting physically in the body. Trauma has a repetitive nature and is cyclical. Traumatic memories sometimes manifest as a tainted fixation, revisited over and over again. The Weight I Feel explores how residual war memories affect the psyche, create a feeling of a long durational passage of time, and making mundane moments and actions feel like a lifetime. The Weight I Feel is a 3:21 minute video loop documenting the passage of time on a body experiencing pain and residual war trauma within one of the most personal spaces; the washroom. In this room, my body spends hours waiting and living through the recurrence of a childhood war flashback from dictatorship era Chile of being questioned by military on the location of my mother. The simple act of bathing, a self-care method, and the duration of waiting that becomes a ritualistic act, provides an insight on trauma as it affects the body through time.”

Muriel Jaque is a Chilean born latinx artist living and working in Toronto. They are an independent filmmaker and media artist whose work primarily consists of short interpersonal films and installations. They came to Canada in the early 90s as a refugee, escaping the dictatorship era Chile with their mother. Growing up as a latinx immigrant has given Muriel a unique perspective on the intersections of power relations with race, class and identity in Canada, and how those intersections affect personal day to day lives. Muriel has had their work exhibited work at Alucine Latin festival, OCADU Image festival, and the Annual U of T Film Festival Official Selection for short films. Muriel is currently an Integrated Media student at OCAD University, whose thesis focuses on the colonial and contemporary history of plants, and issues of biopower, manifested in personal connections that immigrants have with seeds that travel through globalized trade. Their work has been influenced by artists dealing with subjects of decolonization through intersectionality, mental health, immigration, feminism, and intergenerational trauma, such as Rebecca Belmore, Isabel Rocamora, and Latoya Ruby Frazier. In the past year, Muriel has worked on a series of films and installations that deal with trauma and memory, Chilean history, and the struggles of mental illness. Their main medium has been experimental film, especially, as a form of performative expression. Their area of study has been primarily third world feminism and decolonization which inform their body of work up to date.

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