I exhibited this film recently alongside Sam Taylor Wood at Wallspace Gallery in London, a perfect setting for the film.
Agnus Dei is about the burdens of life; the ones that we carry around with us daily. Some of these burdens we have received others but some we actually make ourselves. We wear these burdens like necklaces around our necks and we keep them close to our hearts.
The lamb’s hearts act as a metaphor for these sacrifices. In a ritualistic performance I place my hands into a bowl of burdens and pick them up one by one and sew them together to make myself a necklace that weighs heavily around my neck.
Emphasizing the domestic, I perform this ritual at home using a bowl from the kitchen, lambs hearts from the local butcher and very old sewing needles that were given to me by my grandmother. I set the table like an altar with a white tablecloth and candles. I create a domestic religious environment that evokes the rituals performed at home by women such as setting the family table, baking and sewing. The dolls throughout the film act, in psychoanalytical terms, as playful transitional objects, which project nostalgia for dialogue.
The music and sounds by Nick May and St Johns College choir in Cambridge add a mood to the piece. At the end as a performer I endeavor to transmit my presence and stare out at the viewer to find a connection with them but when the mask is taken off it is replaced with yet another mask.