JH: What has it been like to revisit At Rest? Have you experimented with moving image since?
MM: It’s still my only video work. I’d like to make something else, but I’d like it to be a little more expansive. I shot At Rest all by myself on a little consumer camera, and it’s really low-end. That video had a lot of meaning for me when I made it, but there’s always the question, Does someone want to sit and watch this, for any length of time? I thought about different ways to show it—for instance, each person would be projected separately on repeat. But then I made it into one linear piece, and it felt better strung together. The breathing operated better all together. I felt like I wanted to make a piece that was sort of an illusion—we can’t really see the body breathe in that way. Only film can really create that, where the body becomes more of an instrument.
My father has since died, and one of the men in the video has since died, so it has become an eerie piece for me. There was also a strange coincidence when I went to my father’s grave for the first time. Until then, I hadn’t really paid very much attention to the plot of land where he and my grandparents were, and as I looked right behind my father’s stone, I saw a small one in the ground that read, “At Rest.”