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We never get to see the David from the title. However, his lover, played by Nina Yuen, is constantly on screen. She hopes to win him back by casting spells on him; she carefully carries out a series of superstitious enchantments. On a pair of tights, she draws underwear with blue glitter, which she will be wearing on the day he returns. She decorates apples and other fruit with sprinkles and candy, according to a strict protocol. Aspirins, crushed to a powder, are ritually strewn over her lover’s photo, only to be blown away again.
The young woman has woven a sickly sweet web of superstition, secrecy and conspiracy. In girlie dresses, she moves gracefully around in her cocoon bedecked with flowery and fruity prints. Her small, safe world is sun-drenched …nd covered in retro-aesthetics. In 'David', love, beauty and superstition form a perplexing trio.
As a performer, Nina Yuen always takes on the role of her characters, and often uses simple means to build a complete décor. A continuous, smooth and dreamy flow of words seamlessly links all the images together. Her naïve texts, spoken like mantras, are drawn from a mishmash of sources. They have a hypnotizing effect on the viewer, and suck you into the story. In her fluently edited films, the scenes are chopped up into a great many tableaux that are mounted in sequence. This leads to an animation-like result with a dash of the home-video.
Netherlands Media Art Institute, Nanda Janssen Read more...