2017, HD, color
exhibited at Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects
"J." is a video portrait of a middle-aged man who was convicted and served a multi-year prison sentence for sexual assault and is now on parole and in post-release therapy. The video is silent: the camera scans J.’s nude body, skin, hair, hands, feet, genitals. It is disarming and rare to see any man represented in this way: stripped of pretense, guard, identity.
80 pages of unedited interviews between the artist and J. accompany the video.
In the interview, Haendel asks his subject probing and at times painfully harsh questions, exploring J’s childhood, its joys and traumas, how he came to his values and beliefs, his series of poor choices, the assault he committed, the motivations for his actions, his time in prison, and his own perspective on his recovery from his criminal behavior.