Sue DeBeer


This photograph was taken on the set of my video Disappear Here. On the bed is the 17-year-old star, Meghan Lynch. I am pictured on the right. (I like to wear heels while directing.) Missing from the photograph is my excellent crew: D.P. Ian Vollmer, First A.D. Ivette Zighelboim, audio tech Alex Portugal, and still photographer Stephen Hilger. (I also shot stills while on set.) Disappear Here includes a text excerpted from a novel by Alissa Bennett, who also wrote the beautiful monologues included in my recent two-channel video work Hans & Grete, which will be in the 2004 Whitney Biennial. Hans & Grete, produced while I was a fellow at the American Academy in Berlin, is also teenagercentric. The story line follows four kids, all of whom are trying to make their mark on history through various means: murder, revolution, rock music. Hans & Grete is a major work for me; it took a year and a half to complete. Disappear Here, on the other hand, is a short, based on the act of taking a Polaroid. It uses this action as a focal point for explaining the function of a photograph and how a photograph changes in time. The scene depicted here is as follows: a teenage girl, hanging out in her bedroom, photographs herself wearing her old Girl Scout uniform. The video acknowledges the intrinsic eroticism of such an action, conflating that feeling with nostalgia for a remembered childhood—a remembered past moment. Our scout could be an actual kid, or she could be a stand-in for memory itself: a surrogate who embodies the sensuousness of the unattainable moment—the desire and longing inherent in memory.