By Ashlee Fairey
Though it has been three years since Bahar Behbahani created her short film “Suspended” and she has made several video works since, it was still the film she chose to cue up in her airy apartment/art studio in Brooklyn on a recent April day. The film faded up into a sepia scene: a brick house with a curtained window and a back porch, a bicycle nestled in the corner. It could be a snapshot straight out of an old family album, except everything is upside down.
The screen gently sways like a rope-swing from which someone has just leapt. A woman comes into the screen, dangling upside down as children often hang from monkey bars, and as notes from a music box chime out, the woman closes her eyes as if in deep reverie. As the camera pulls back, we see that this woman’s feet are not hooked round a bar but are bound by rope, her arms limp by her ears as she twists with the wind, and the silent suggestion of death creeps in. The scene has a stillness that often permeates sleep, but it’s unclear whether this would be a dream or a nightmare. (more…)