Annie Gauthier and Milutin Gubash share months of their lives in video project (and journey of self-discovery) You, Me and You
Before I turn my recorder on to talk to Annie Gauthier and Milutin Gubash about their video work, You, Me and You, they ask me if they can film the interview. That’s fine, I say, banishing thoughts about where the video might turn up and how dorky I’ll look. But it’s all part of the artistic process: The couple, solo artists in their own right, have been recording themselves for months at home, at work and wherever life leads them. Now it’s show time, but they can’t quite break their newfound, revelatory habit.
"It’s unusual in that when you’re preparing for an exhibition, you’re closing a door, you can see how it will be over," says Gubash. "With this, the way we’ve given it shape and fallen into a pattern of working, it’s as if we’re opening a door on something else."
A flat-screen TV and a viewing area are set up in the gallery, with bean-bag chairs and a rug from the artists’ home. The video is broken into several two- to three-hour segments, a different one shown each night of the week. You’ll never see the same scene twice and you might walk into the gallery just after someone’s talked smack about you on screen, jokes Gauthier. It’s all part of a narrative collage made up of personal, everyday experiences: talking with coworkers, critiquing art, gossiping, washing dishes, arguing, having sex.
"At first we thought we would be reflecting a lot more on the artistic community and our milieu," says Gauthier. "Once filming, we saw that we were doing this piece for one another, and we discovered our limits. It’s about representation, what we were comfortable showing. It was revealing to us, and I was sometimes shocked to see who I’ve become; it wasn’t necessarily the image I have of myself. It’s not done to make the audience uncomfortable but to have them ask what they’d do if in our place."
The project’s title speaks to opening up intimate discussions to other people: The second "You" can be the viewer, the people seen and discussed in the film and/or the people who will talk about the work. Or the camera itself, an undeniable element in the project, a character, a voyeur.
"We could say that this is our coming out in terms of ideas," says Gauthier. "The first time we’re really speaking our minds and not being sure of who’s there to hear it." The two are extremely candid on camera, breaking through its distancing elements to be who they really are, even if it makes them look like jerks sometimes.
"Well, you seem like nice people right now," I say. "We’ll see what you think in a week," Gauthier responds, laughing again, but this time with a little trepidation. Yeah, this should be good.
You, Me and You
At Articule (262 Fairmount W.), April 2-11
Vernissage April 2, 7 p.m., and artist talk April 4, 3 p.m.