new-york

Anne Walsh

Casey Kaplan

How does she say she’s sorry? Let me count the ways. There’s a compassionate, thoughtful “I’m sorry,” bottom lip tense, gaze slightly sidelong, and afterward a conciliatory near smile. There’s a firm “I’m sorry,” resolute, direct, with a finalizing nod, but the whole, perhaps, as if trapped and forced to ’fess up. There’s a hesitant, lip-chewing “I’m sorry,” backed up by a sympathetic head move; a resentful “I’m sorry,” postponed by looking down, then up, then down again, then up again; and then there’s “God I’m sorry.” And “I’m sorry.” There’s a frowning, guilty-looking “I’m sorry,” and an “I’m sorry” sequence staged at several different degrees of anguish. And last on the tape there’s an “I’m sorry” repeated under the breath, both the recurrence and the whisper symbolizing sincerity.

A catalogue of apologies, Anne Walsh’s video Woman Saying Sorry (all works 1996) makes performance out of

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