I had a feeling of overwhelming guilt when editing videos I had downloaded from the internet, unhappy with the materials I had shot myself, I took a trip up back to Yorkshire to inspire myself to film again. Searching for a story, I asked my mother about the Armenian “mystics” that would “measure” a person’s fear, for money. She told me a story about Qaleh, an old woman she went to see when she was a child. Qaleh had dementia, didn’t remember much and had regressed herself to a childlike stage, the only thing she could remember properly was the process of measuring fear, which includes dripping hot candle wax into water and reading the impressions left within. Whatever Qaleh told my mother apparently helped her. I wanted to somewhat re-create this, in a rather vague way by combining the process that my mum described with another occultist process practiced in Armenia, which involves writing a “curse” and hiding it under the bed of the target or somewhere similar. I didn’t film the process of creating the curse but rather the outcome of it. In this case, wishing death upon someone you once loved.


Ani Mkrtchyan