DVD 13
L. A. Raeven
Chris Rehberger/Double Standards



The L.A. Raeven twins are obsessed with beauty. The main subject of their films is Western ideals of beauty and how to attain these. The element of rivalry that is closely associated with this makes their work somewhat painful and uncomfortable. The actors are often just beyond girlhood and are increasingly conscious of how they are judged on their appearance. The films possess a subdued tension that drives the minimal actions of the protagonists to unprecedented heights.
'Prison in me', 2005, was made for Loud & Clear TOO and is a typical L.A. Raeven work. The first shot is a close-up of a tear-stained face. Automatically you think of pubescent sadness until the camera zooms out and you see that it is not one girl, but two. Dressed in pink underwear they are taped together back to back and as the film progresses they make frantic efforts to free themselves. Or not? Just like L.A. Raeven themselves, the girls look so alike that they must be identical twins.
'Prison in me' reflects the psychic layers that come with being condemned to each other's company; perhaps against their better judgment. The childlike voice of the Rumanian singer Pupilla, accompanied only by a synthesiser, suits the images well. The music has something imploring and vulnerable about it, as though the girls have to be protected from themselves, each other and the rest of the world. Chris Rehberger has clearly taken Pupilla's piece as his starting point and uses it as a rhythmic support for his contribution. A black and white sphere is morphed in such a way that it contracts and expands to the tones of the music. A thoroughly abstract work, but with a little good will you could ascribe to it the same psychic qualities.