Bas Jan Ader


I’m Too Sad To Tell You (1971)

This performance piece was really intriguing to me because I was amazed at how well he can capture such raw and relatable emotion. His facial expressions are almost heartbreaking, and as you watch him you can only imagine what sort of terrible experience he is remembering. You can place yourself in his shoes- we have all attempted to tell someone something so hard and just not have the words to do it, and every time you catch your breath and decide to say it you begin to cry all over again. On the contrary, sometimes when you are the listener and are waiting to hear what they need to say, it can almost be frustrating because that person just won’t spit it out. It’s sad to think about… the fact that we have friends who are so upset they can’t even speak, yet we are frustrated with them and impatient. I just think this piece is a perfect representation of an experience most everyone has gone through, and he did a great job capturing the emotion involved using his facial expressions and bringing his hands to his face, leaving us both empathetic and impatient/curious at the same time.


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