As You Desire Me was designed as an installation where the viewer could move and contemplate the screens separately. Three locations in the city of Rome were filmed as backgrounds for drawn animation. The animation is a kind of graffiti over the city, a form of social protest. The piece becomes an elegy mimicking the feeling when one is part of a religious procession or protest march. Empire Of Dreams by the poet Charles Simic underscores the feeling of alienation and loss.

This film was inspired by the emotional qualities of the city of Rome when the Iraq War was declared. The city responded to this in powerful ways. Surrealistic characters in real settings navigate the city where trains and cars bound but it is on foot where travel is realiable. One of the components is based on a poem  “Empire of Dreams” Charles Simic which inspires the lost person becoming a mask of the self . The three screen structure  demonstrates the complexity of the city as a web of passing through and those living there.

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A text about the piece by Steve Anker:

Maureen Selwood weaves three internal images to portray historic streets and the countryside outside of Rome as locations visited by spectral figures that move with trance-like repetition and reappear unpredictably between the different frames. The artist’s responses to her environment while living in this ancient city were influenced by tragic events, most immediately the Iraq war, and landscapes echo with the presence of refugees and a fear of disaster and sense of lamentation. A ragged dog wanders through desolate streets, a stream of black-cloaked women stream through the hillside, faces cluster together and are superimposed over the different settings.  There is a dream-like quality to these moving figures that is inevitable and filled with mortality and loss. Yet, as with all of the films on this program, it is also a world in which the ominous merges unexpectedly with that of fragile beauty and wonder. 

Direction: Maureen Selwood
Animation: Maureen Selwood and Maria Vasilkovsky
Composer: Anna Oxygen