Patty Chang (b. 1972)
In Love (2001)
In this dual-channel video, two separate scenes of the artist with a parent are juxtaposed. Chang faces her mother and, in the adjacent frame, appears face–to–face with her father. Simultaneously both images show the artist’s and respective parent’s faces pressed together in what at first appears to be a deep kiss. Gradually it becomes evident that the video is running in reverse time, and that they share not a kiss but rather an onion from which they both eat. They bite into it slowly, pausing as they take turns offering it to each other, as if it suggests the proverbial, forbidden fruit. Parent and child swallow before they take additional bites, blinking hard to hold back tears from the onion’s sharpness and pungency. However, in the video’s reversal of time, the onion is reconstituted and the tears disappear—wholeness is thus regained.