Anthony Goicolea, video still from "Nailbiter", 2003, dimensions variable, duration 2:45

Anthony Goicolea, video still from “Nailbiter”, 2003, dimensions variable, duration 2:45

Anthony Goicolea

Shot with an infrared night vision camera and framed in a vertical format, Nail Biter acts as a time lapse portrait of obsessive-compulsive habits, which progress to destructive and absurdly exaggerated states. The video is filmed in one seamless take from a limited frontal camera angle. The camera slowly zooms in on the figure and acts as a tool to document the awkward scenario enacted before it. The video takes place in a darkened cabin in the middle of the woods. A young boy sits in bed and nervously bites his nails. As he chews away at his fingertips, his nails continue to regenerate and grow. The repetitive motions become almost masturbatory as his pace quickens with time and hundreds of nail shards accumulate around him. The soundtrack is comprised of a steady heartbeat, owls and other woodland noises, which acts like a metronome, keeping time for the videos frenetic pace. The tension mounts and a seemingly mundane, everyday, nervous habit unfolds into a simultaneously horrific and humorous portrait of a young boyís neurosis.

Born in 1971, Anthony Goicolea (Brooklyn, NY) received his BA (1992) and his BFA (1994) at the University of Georgia and his MFA (1996) from the Pratt Institute of Art. He has had solo exhibitions at the Contemporary Center of Photography (Melbourne, Australia), the Torch Gallery(Amsterdam, the Netherlands), and the Museum of Contemporary Photography (Chicago, IL). His video works have been shown across the country as well as internationally, in Belgium, England, the Netherlands, Spain, and Switzerland. In addition, Goicoleaís works are held in the collections of the University of Georgia Library, the Yale University Art Collection, the Guggenheim Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, The Museum of Helmond in the Netherlands, and El Museo de Arte Contemporaneo de Castilla in Spain, among others.

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