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Sharrod (Turn/Twirl)

Visual Art
 "In the film-loop Sharrod (Turn/Twirl) the subject is recorded as he turns 360 degrees while holding himself in the position of salute. In the small room at Krowswork where this was projected, I had the feeling that I was some sort of a clinician watching for the slightest twitch, an authority figure judging the ability of the cadet to maintain his posture. The sheer tedium of this performance becomes a kind of yogic exercise for the watcher–and fascination leads to other emotional responses: pity, respect, horror, consternation. Issues of age, class, gender, race, authority, and tradition flash like little sparks, troubling the surface of appearances.

"In the film-loop Sharrod (Turn/Twirl) the subject is recorded as he turns 360 degrees while holding himself in the position of salute. In the small room at Krowswork where this was projected, I had the feeling that I was some sort of a clinician watching for the slightest twitch, an authority figure judging the ability of the cadet to maintain his posture. The sheer tedium of this performance becomes a kind of yogic exercise for the watcher–and fascination leads to other emotional responses: pity, respect, horror, consternation. Issues of age, class, gender, race, authority, and tradition flash like little sparks, troubling the surface of appearances.

One wonders what the REAL story of this man/child is. How is it that we as a culture give so little thought to the actual lived experiences of those in the armed services? What hopes, impulses, feelings are flowing beneath the crystal surface of Sharrod’s eyes? I was surprised at the compassion this footage elicited in me, not because I felt bad for Sharrod, but because it suddenly became clear to me how much energy all of us exert performing our “selves” in order to manifest that image which the gaze of others has necessitated."

-Jason Lahman's "The Warriors' Turn: Compassion and Control in Jason Hanasik's Militaria" for Art21