Alone Together, 2014, HD video, single channel projection, 3 minutes, looped.
Alone Together considers the idea of partnership in opposition. Drawing from footage filmed from the VIP section of a boxing tournament, it visually isolates a specific gesture from boxing matches in which the appearance of intimacy emerges briefly within an aggressive, hyper-masculinized space. The video alternates between providing information through sound and through sight. Most of the time, the viewer sees nothing but hears the background noise from the stadium, and when this gesture does appear, it does so in silence, and only for a moment.
Referred to as clinching, it is a moment of remarkable sculptural tension between bodies that looks like an intense embrace. These moments occur when, at the height of their exhaustion, one fighter pulls the other close to him in order to have the briefest moment’s reprieve from the fight. In order to rest they must lean into one another.
The men push each other to extreme physical exhaustion and in doing so create a shared vulnerability. This vulnerability is a space where they recharge, and it is a position of power for them both. And then, a moment later, the referee pulls the two men apart.
Erika Raberg is an artist living and working in Chicago, IL. She completed her M.F.A. at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2015 and her B.A. at Oberlin College in 2009. erikaraberg.com