Where is the boundary between a game and reality? Can innocence turn into danger? When and how is human aggression created?
These and other questions are raised by Connie Walsh’s video Cenetar. In the first few images, we see a child playing war. It is wearing headphones and talking into a microphone, as if playing an interactive computer game. The blue sky in the background and the child enthroned like an angel among the clouds convey a sense of peace. Not only do we hear the voice of the boy, but also the sound of a pilot’s voice, whose sentences mix with those of the child’s. The collage-like interplay of dialogue is disturbing, since the innocent child is giving orders to destroy. The headphones and microphone make it clear that there is not much difference between the little boy and the pilot, who is playing the game in real life. At the end of the four-minute video, one hears the noise of bombs and the child suddenly disappears. Is the boy pretending to be an adult, or is the pilot imagining the whole video during a real mission?
Walsh shows us an exploration of human aggression. Her social critique emerges in the staging of an ambivalent situation in which it is impossible to tell the difference between the game and reality. (Milen Zhelev)