Learning How To Smoke
(I’m too sad to tell you)

Text and Video by Jasmin Chun

The video piece begins with a woman, acted by myself, lighting a cigarette with a match and smoking it. She is surrounded by visual tropes of cool: the black and white, the stylized hair, the turtleneck, and the cigarette. You watch her smoke and anticipate the air of confidence that comes with every aesthetic cue, but instead it is the opposite: she looks uncomfortable in her ability to smoke, in smoking, and in us watching her smoke. As time passes, nothing changes. There is a sense of vulnerability in her gaze towards us. The first half of the title indicates a woman learning how to smoke, and second half is an appropriation. It takes its name after Bas Jan Ader’s video I’m Too Sad To Tell You. The description of what is happening is followed by a second description of what is being felt internally—the “apparent” and “non- apparent” and the external and internal.

smoke

© 2017 Brutal