Confession Box: Alexander Gandar
Your video for Finn Andrews' song One By The Venom features something like 48 deaths. Which is your favourite?
I've got a lot of love for the [murderous] nuns, that's probably the one that is closest to what was in my head as we were conceptualising it. I feel like it unlocks the real beauty and terror of those two-and-a-half seconds. Insider trivia: that's actually my girlfriend [who is killed]. She was pretty proud of that, she really channelled something.
Does death frighten you?
I think it does, I think it really does. I have a really clear memory from childhood, the day you realise that death is something that happens and the dizzying abyss that opens psychically. I remember exactly where I was and what was happening when I had that realisation and I don't think that feeling has ever disappeared. I don't consider myself religious at all. The idea of not existing for eternity does frighten me. I am actually kind of excited about the experience of death but the idea of infinity is frightening. Even talking about it makes me feel panicky.
What do you want to leave behind when you die?
I used to think when I was in my early 20s it would be a novel or some kind of masterpiece or opus but I think, as I get older, I want to leave a memory of joy behind. I know that sounds kind of corny, but I'd like to be remembered as a person who people wanted to be around. As I get older, I wonder what is special about what I am trying to say - it's just the same as what everyone else is trying to say and it's about who says it the loudest. Maybe things that are meaningful are smaller than that. Family is another one - I'd like to leave behind nice people.
Is money important to you?
Auckland is a very money-obsessed city. It's bananas expensive to live here. We are all constantly concerned with how much things cost and it feels like it is inevitable that you will wrestle with your relationship to wealth and capital. I don't consider myself to be someone who is driven by money but I definitely, definitely, definitely like to collect things. I really enjoy the concept of ownership and I like things to be mine.
What do you like to collect?
What have you got? I like plants, I like shoes, I like clothes. I have a lot of curios from projects over the years. I have 100 tabs open across all of my devices that I will always be refreshing, reading and opening others to replace them. I used to collect a lot of physical media, CDs and DVDS and things like that, before giving up and selling them all back to Real Groovy at a cent on the dollar. I collect books; I'd like to collect more art - because I see those things as a kind of marker of my worth. It feels like there is something in my brain saying more stuff [is] better. I know that's not a trendy attitude to have, but it's something that is deep in the bedrock of my mind. I would like to be happy as a minimalist and I am working on it.
I should also confess to this: I do really, really like to gamble. I don't gamble a lot of money but it is probably my truest vice. I don't like to gamble because of the money, I like to gamble because of the possibility of money. I am happy that our casinos are depressing places to be or I would be in trouble. Las Vegas was a big problem for me.
You didn't find Las Vegas depressing?
I did find it kinda depressing, but I also found it incredibly joyful. It was like Disneyland. It's like everything is always operating on a knife-edge, between incredible sadness and incredible joy. There is a beautiful friction between those two things that I find so fascinating and it's such a thrilling, highly vibrating place to be in for that reason.
You fear giving into sloth because you fear you would like it too much?
I am the opposite of a lazy person because I am so driven by the fear of being a lazy person. It feels like the most sinful of all of them. Sloth equals a kind of death or obsolescence or purposelessness. I am very aware of wasting time and I am often quite wasteful of time. I can spend a whole day faffing around without really thinking about it. Doing some admin tasks and some podcasts and reading and playing a bit of sport and then that day is gone.
- Eleanor Black
* Alexander Gandar's video for Finn Andrews' song One by the Venom, is being shown at Show Me Shorts which opens tonight at the ASB Waterfront Theatre, Auckland.