Proving A Stranger Wrong


Proving A Stranger Wrong (currently in final stages of post-production)

three-channel DVD video projection and audio track
dimensions variable
continuous loop
edition of 3

This project is from the series The Geographic Fates—which involve traveling to a particular location to live out a predestined path, to link seemingly unrelated geographic locales, to complete a self imposed task, to realize an act of fate and/or to recreate/redefine a hazy memory, occurrence or dream. The end product results in an experiential video installation, transporting the outcome to a whole other set of geographic locations, creating new unexpected linkages.

The work Proving A Stranger Wrong is based on an actual experience. A homeless man once chased Shpungin across the plaza in front of the Cologne cathedral. She was 22 years old. He meant no harm, but before she could get into her car (a sedan), in the parking garage below the cathedral, he shouted in a soothsayer-like confidence in English: “By the age of 37 you will realize that you will never go to Paris in a sports car.” All of those years a seed was planted and Shpungin promised she would prove him wrong. Just before setting out on the trip, Shpungin found out when she told some friends the story that his remarks were eerily similar to a Marianne Faithful song. Researching the song and seeing it has a quite ominous ending, Shpungin challenged the superstition and lived out a self-imposed fate.

The project involved getting a black convertible sports car in Cologne and driving to Paris—allowing this man, a complete stranger, to have a profound effect on her life and to conquer a predestined path. The project is a performative and cinematic exercise in fate, personal and locational identity. Crucial that Shpungin lived the act out before she turn the said age. She completed the task, with a few odd occurrences, but proved him wrong and lived to tell the tale.

The project was filmed in three parts. Each part corresponds sculpturally and architecturally with a channel in the three-channel video installation. The video installation, large scale and sculptural within the architecture, bringing the viewer to the location and on the journey of fate tempting itself.