Force of a .22 Caliber Bullet (video still), 2021

Force of a .22 Caliber Bullet
Digital video, colour, sound
7:55 mins

Commissioned by the Sydney Opera House for their new digital contemporary art exhibition, Returning; supported by the Japan Foundation

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Filmed on a body camera, typically used by law enforcement, Force of a .22 Calibre Bullet is an experimental mediation of grief, violence, and resistance. Taking inspiration from the mantis shrimp, an ocean predator which smashes its victim’s shells with the force of a fired bullet, Garcia performs a series of endurance exercises with a boxing training apparatus attached to her head. Her intention is to embody the mantis shrimp, which one sees composited into the “colourful ball” that tracks her reflexes, providing a personal metronome to process her grief. Framing the violence of her actions, Garcia intervenes a guided meditation by mindfulness/embodiment instructor, Robin Lacambra, whose voice echoes over a soundscape of Indigenous Filipino instruments, electronically composed by Canadian Filipino group, A La Una. Against this juxtaposition of Garcia’s gestures of violence, the calming meditation, and the allusion to surveillance through her video, Garcia creates a timely statement about the relationship between grief, violence, and regeneration.

Exhibition History: Our Island / Their People: Becoming Archipelago, Empathetic Device: It’s Hard to Get Enough of Something that Almost Works (2022); Returning (online) (2021)