I Am Too Sad To Tell You

Artist: Bas Jan Ader
video | 16mm black and white film | 3:21 | 1971

Bas Jan Ader, who mysteriously disappeared at sea in 1975, binds the viewer into relationships that are difficult to withdraw from. The film, I Am Too Sad To Tell You (1971), portrays the artist driven to tears, although the motivation behind his emotion is left ambiguous. In this particular film, it is the "being driven to" which resonates rather than the residual tears of its formation. The work oscillates between the rational and the opaque to reflect the gesture of intention central to his other work. "I shall talk of things which are sometimes, accidentally true," explained the artist in one of his enigmatic epigraphs. And, as a comment to his many images of loss and surrender, he added: "My body practices being dead."


Manifesta 5 | 2004.06.11 - 2004.09.30 | Arteleku(San Sebastián, Spain) | Casa Ciriza(San Sebastián, Spain) | Koldo Mitxelena(San Sebastián, Spain) | Kubo Kutxa Kursaal | Museo San Telmo(San Sebastián, Spain) | Ondartxo(San Sebastián, Spain) | San Sebastián | Soto del Aquarium(San Sebastián, Spain)