I can fit a fist in my mouth

A pair of lips and a light skin jaw cropped by the camera mouth wearing a visible three stripes adidas top.

I can fit a fist in my mouth is a video work commissioned by Cubitt gallery for the 2024 exhibition of the same name. The video centres around a group of people, with whom I hold varying forms and degrees of intimacy, to audio-describe a series of vignettes, gestures, and brief moments. These have been drawn from a personal archive of footage of family members, ex-partners, lovers, and friends. This is edited with a range of footage exploring forms of interpersonal violence, moments of hiding and revealing, highlighting the ethics of working with personal moments in video.

Sound for the video was developed in dialogue with, and by sound designer Claude Nouk, several people known to the artist were invited to act as audio describers, and guidance on access and audio description was gratefully received by Mathew from Elaine Joseph (SoundScribe).

A video by Mathew Wayne Parkin
Sound by Claude Nouk
Produced by Seán Elder
Production Support by Kadeem Oak
Commissioned by Cubitt gallery
Access consolation by Elaine Joseph
Off screen audio description by Tais Whyke, Rehana Zaman, Kathryn Elkin, Seán Elder
Audio description Jamie Hammill
Additional camera ands support by Tais Whyke, Neil Fergusson, Sunny Vowles and Huw Lemmey
Song audible at the start is Better Off Alone, Alice Deejay, 1999

Supported by Cubitt, Leeds Inspired, RADAR Loughborough University, Pavilion, SERF Leeds

Black and white still of a pair of feet in worn socks on a patterned daybed.
Still of a harbour with heavy snow and limited visibility, at the bottom is the caption [Music stops, shuffling and bodily noises, ambient sound of snow continues].
A black man sleeping on his side with a grey duvet and white pillow in a yellow hued indoor light. At the bottom of the image in blue is the caption ‘Mathew [Mild West Yorkshire accent]: Um, so the test is also potentially going to be in the film’ and below that in yellow ‘Tais [Male British accent via the Atlantic and the Caribbean]: Really, why?’.
A black screen, at the bottom in purple is the caption ‘Hey is sat on a white towel on rocks with waves lapping and washing over them’ then below in white ‘[Deep breathing stretches across the background]’.
A still of a blurry mouth on a light skinned chin with a caption below in white reading ‘[‘Better off Alone’ by Alice Deejay plays softly in the background, sounds of a camera being handled]’, and at the top of the screen a caption in light blue reads ‘[North West English Accent] A pair of lips and a light skin jaw cropped by the camera mouth the words to Alice Deejay’s ‘Better off Alone’ and drinking beer wearing a visible three stripes adidas top’.
Night cam footage of a cat scurrying around a living room filmed from the floor with the date stamp 2020/01/21 04:58:59 in the corner. At the bottom in white is the caption ‘[Sounds of cats pulling rug and scratching continues off-screen]’.
Black and white still of a close up of a computer screen of the webpage r/askgaybros. The topic of the page is ‘There isn’t a shortage of tops’, we can read the lines ‘There are plenty of tops. I would argue that there ar… bottoms (and lots of guys are verse to some degree)… I’m so tired of this rhetoric that the gay community h… What we have is a shortage of 9 inch dick, muscular,’. At the bottom is the caption [Ambient city noise, distant traffic and conversations, camera being handled].
Inverted blue still somewhat abstract by the cropping of a fist being inserted into a heavily bearded man’s mouth. At the bottom is the caption ‘[Blunt, reverberating tongue and mouth sounds, drone builds and swells].