2014 | 16mm | Color | Silent | 3min
”Roundtrip is a three-minute film that documents two train journeys (from New York City to Montreal, and back again) undertaken by Leonard and his partner in the fall of 2014. Through the consistent use of a split-screen, the two journeys can be observed side-by-side, unfolding in parallel within the film’s vertically divided frame. The purpose of the trip was to visit the father of Leonard’s partner in hospital where he was receiving a kidney transplant from his own sister. While this background information is not made available to viewers of the film, it constitutes the hidden narrative center of the film which is further mirrored in the work’s formal concern with questions of division and unity.
When the film is playing, the two halves of the frame appear to be moving, impossibly, towards the split at the center of the frame. However, since the split-frame is obtained by hand, the dividing line is not fixed but, rather, it keeps moving in and out of focus throughout the film. This serves to draw attention to the split itself as that which both separates and connects the two halves of the frame. The central dividing line, in other words, becomes a “third space” that materially inscribes the event of this specific transplant procedure—but also organ donation taken, as a whole, as a moment of transient presentism when two bodies become (n)one—as the hidden narrative core of both journey and film.” -Caroline Bem