Patriotic, video, 11:00 mins. A collaboration between David Burns, Matias Viegener, and Austin Young
“Patriotic” is an investigation into intimacy, dependency, and control. As food and feeding are the most primal of human interchanges, the exchange of food is both symbolic and contains all the potential of abusive control. Shot at the restaurant in the Hollywood Bowl, before a concert by the Los Angeles Philharmonic, “Patriotic” shows two men sharing a meal. The younger man is finicky and nothing suits him. With virtually no dialogue and few gestures, the intimacy between the two men is hard to categorize. Are they lovers, friends, or family?
The original shoot for this project was not intended to include the national anthem, but once it began to play we realized everything had shifted. It is impossible to speak during the Star Spangled Banner, and while playing with food is a taboo at any time, during the anthem it comes to seem more and more like a political statement. Much as homosexuality and particularly gay couples have become contested and scrutinized practices, we wish to subject patriotism to the same scrutiny.