Oliver Gilbert and Daniel Satele
The Half Of Life
‘Ghosts, vampires, monsters […] flourish in an era when you might expect them to be dead
and buried, without a place. They are something brought about by modernity itself. […] What
seems to be a leftover is actually a product of modernity its counterpart’
– Mladen Dolar
At least since Bram Stoker wrote Dracula in the late-nineteenth century, the vampire has
served as a subtle symbol of modern alienation in its various forms: the alienation of
individuals from larger social units; of subjects from their unconscious desires; of workers
from the value of their labour. As Roger Luckhurst writes, the vampire ’embodies in one
elusive figure everything that shiny modernity [is] at risk of forgetting about its [own]
blood-soaked history.’ Engaging the vampire figure from this perspective, The Half of Life is
a moving-image by Oliver Gilbert which is an interpretation of a short story by Daniel Satele.
Oliver Gilbert finished his BFA(Hons) at the University of Auckland in 2014. He directed The
Door to Safety is Shut in 2016 for Window Gallery.
Daniel Satele is a doctoral candidate in English at the University of Auckland. His writing has
been published in ArtAsiaPacific, Art New Zealand and the New Zealand Listener. In 2017
his work featured in The Cold Islanders at Waikato Museum.