Artist Projects

Confessions of a Sociopath

Joe Gibbons

Confessions of a Sociopath is a 60-minute autobiographical film on digital video and Super 8 film, conceived as a real-life version of Beckett’s Krapp’s Last Tape. In this film, Joe Gibbons plays a fictionalized version of himself as he discovers a roomful of Super 8 footage from his own life, detailing events he can no longer recall. This footage shows his earlier film experiments, his descent into destructive behavior, and his “bottoming out” on drugs and alcohol. At a certain point, the films are replaced by random photos, police records, and psychiatric hospital records. In the role of the narrator, Gibbons uses psychiatric terminology to describe his past exploits, as a way of poking fun at both his own misfortune and at psychiatry’s ability to medicalize non-conformity. Through Confessions of a Sociopath, the now-reformed narrator seeks to understand his life, and make amends.

Project Updates

  • 2010: Confessions of a Sociopath screens at Museum of Modern Art in New York as part of Creative Capital film festival

  • 2001: Confessions of a Sociopath premieres at the New York Video Festival at Lincoln Center

  • 2001: Confessions of a Sociopath is named one of the ten best films of the year by Film Comment

  • 2001: Kent Jones writing in Artforum names Confessions of a Sociopath the ninth best film of the year

  • 2002: Confessions of a Sociopath is screened as part of the Whitney Biennial