This Monkey

Patrick Jolley

Description

‘In Patrick Jolley’s film ‘This Monkey’ a concern central to the film is the question of disturbance. The film’s affect is hinged on what would be normally referred to as a disturbing image, that of rhesus monkeys snacking on the remains of what appear to be human corpses. In an era when the production of terror through the distribution of images of extreme violence and brutal murder is gradually becoming a reality that we are forced to live with, how is it that such an image is still capable of producing a sensation akin to that of horror. The horror in ‘This Monkey’ is not the consequence of anthropomorphised primates as in ‘Planet of the Apes’. The horror runs much deeper since there is no direct attribution of human traits (most importantly the ability to speak) to these monkeys. The very notion of humanity, in other words the quality of being humane, is bound up with the distinction drawn between the human and the animal. The horror in ‘This Monkey’ is produced by a sharp attack on this distinction which has been an essential one in the formulation of human civilization and its various laws. By rendering humans food for monkeys, humanity itself is rendered food for thought. Yet this attack cannot be reduced to some naive denunciation of the human in the name of the animal. It is an attack that recognises both the historicity and futurity of this distinction yet picks on it without an apparent agenda, thus it hurts and disturbs.’

(Adapted from text by Bassam el Baroni, curator and critic on July 8th 2016)

Details
Title

This Monkey

Year

2009

Creator

Patrick Jolley

Medium

Moving Image

Form

Short

Genre

Nature

Subject

Rhesus monkey, Human beings

Language

English (eng); no spoken content

Duration

7 minutes

Original format

Physical: Film: 16mm

Aspect ratio

4:3

Colour

Both Colour and Black and White

Sound

Sound

Rights

Copyright holder: Patrick Jolley Estate; Copyright year: 2016

Artist website

http://patrickjolleyestate.com/

Link to work

https://vimeo.com/176279426