Surrender is a diptych composed of two flat-panel screens mounted to the wall in a vertical configuration, one over the other. Images of a man and a woman appear separately on each panel, and their positions alternate from upper to lower screen with each repetition of the playback cycle. The figures are viewed from the waist up and the figure on the lower screen is shown upside down, suggesting a mirror reflection of the upper image.
The man and woman perform three synchronized prostrations of increasing emotional intensity and duration. At first, this appears to bring them physically closer to each other as if to embrace or kiss. However, their actions reveal the presence of a water surface below at the edge of the screen, and they penetrate this surface face-first. As they emerge, their sorrow and anguish appear to increase along with the undulating disturbances on the surface of the water that they have caused. When the images of their bodies themselves begin to break up into rippling, wavering forms, it becomes apparent that we have been looking at their reflections on the surface of water all along, not their actual bodies. This ‘image of an image’ becomes more violent and distorted each time they enter the water, until finally their extreme emotional and physical intensity peaks and their visual forms disintegrate into abstract patterns of pure light and color.