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23 Chunks of Being:

Gregory Grieve’s Experiments in Transmitting Pure actuality

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3. Where Does Love Go (2009)
Video (10:19)

“Not all poisonous juices are burning or bitter nor is everything which is burning and bitter poisonous.”

― Claude Levi-Strauss

Grieve created this video for his mother, with whom he had had a difficult painful relationship, soon after her death.  His mother suffered from Borderline Personality Disorder, which she self-treated with alcohol, other substances as well as a string of damaging intimate relationships (that she treated as just another mind-altering drug). Where Does Love Go was created from found footage and a video shot with the help of Grieve’s son, Grey.  The video’s soundtrack contains excepts from the musical piece “Where Does Love Go,” (2007) for Viola and Live Electronics composed by Mark Engebretson. The viola was played by Scott Rawls, and voiced by Susan Fancher and Lorena Guillén. The words are from the poem “Conservation of Energy” (2000) by Dana Richardson.


Borderline Personality Disorder is characterized by a long-term pattern of unstable interpersonal relationships, a distorted sense of self, and strong emotional reactions. Those with Borderline Personality Disorder struggle with feelings of emptiness, fear of abandonment, and detachment from reality and tend to leave a trail of traumatized people in their wake. In the last years of her Life, Grieve’s mother also suffered from aphasia, loss of ability to understand or express speech, which was the result of stroke and traumatic brain injury caused by an alcohol-induced traffic accident.


The video also features one of Grieve’s repeated motifs, the crow (Corvus corax). Humans, wolves, and crows have a long relationship that goes back tens of thousands of years. Because of their black plumage, croaking call, and diet of carrion, these bird are often associated with loss and ill omen. Yet, its symbolism is complex. As a talking bird, the crow also represents prophecy and insight. Crows in stories often act as psychopomps, connecting the material world with the world of spirits. The French anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss proposed a structuralist theory that suggests the crow obtained mythic status because it was a mediator animal between life and death.

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