:/nterstellar, Maura Brewer, 2015. Single-channel video, color, sound. 11:11 minutes. 3 minute excerpt.

:/nterstellar is an essay video that appropriates footage from the 2014 film Interstellar, starring Jessica Chastain. :/nterstellar retells the original film from the point of view of Chastain’s character, a girl whose father leaves at the beginning of the story. The relation between father and daughter is explored by analyzing a series of metaphors from the original text. In an early scene, Chastain’s character encounters a drone, defined as “an unmanned object, operated from a remote location.” The logic of drones becomes the logic of girls, in the thrall of their “remote” fathers. The structure of metaphor, governed by mediation, characterizes Chastain’s role in the film: always acting, but never under her own power.

This video was partly inspired by Jacquline Rose’s essay “Daddy” from The Haunting of Sylvia Plath. In it, Rose talks about the use of metaphor in Plath’s work, particularly in the poem Daddy. For Rose, metaphor produces a distance that mitigates violent or traumatic memories. Identification with the father is  painful because it is characterized by contradiction: “[The relation of the superego] to the ego is not exhausted by the precept: “You ought to be like this (like your father).” It also comprises the prohibition: “You may not be like this (like your father.)” Paternal law is therefore grounded on an injunction which it is impossible to obey. Its cruelty, and its force, reside in the form of the enunciation itself,” (Rose, 230).