If I Had You, 2003

Installation view: Darren Almond. IF I HAD YOU, Palazzo della Ragione, Fondazione Nicola Trussardi, Milan, 2003
Photo: Marco De Scalzi | Courtesy the artist and Fondazione Nicola Trussardi, Milan

Four-channel video installation, color, sound
24 min 9 sec (videos)
Overall dimensions variable

If I Had You is a video installation consisting of four different projections, that can be watched simultaneously on the front and back side of the screens. The films tells the story of the artist's grandmother, Nan, who recalls experiences from her past. A melancholy score of piano music composed by Richard James of Aphex Twin - a sampled recording layered to create the sound of an out-of-tune instrument - combined with the grainy, occasionally shaky sequences that recall a thousand amateur holiday films.

The woman remembers her husband who died twenty years ago and whom she still longs for, as the title already suggests. Furthermore, she recalls the honeymoon they spent together in Blackpool, a quintessential English seaside town, reminiscing over the sea (visualized in the blue water of Fountain), the dancehall she frequented as a young woman, and the amusement park-like decorations of the town, of which Windmill is a concrete example. Apart from these personal references, If I Had You addresses general themes of longing, nostalgia and the painful passage of time. These subjects are experienced through a multi-perspective time-space-constellation, transforming a very private moment into a collective story, wherein real events and the past and present of remembering, are combined to a vivid and complex structure.

*1971 in Wigan, United Kingdom | Living and working in London, United Kingdom