Yarn Mountain


Collaborative video- Kolbe Roper, Roman Udalov, Toban Nichols

Toban Nichols’ statement about the work:
The video represents a metaphorical depiction of an unraveling relationship. But also acts as a comedic sidebar with badly written and flatly spoken porn lines standing in for actual communication while doing mundane domestic tasks.

Layers of the relationship are displayed by monotone speech and “going through the motions” on the surface, with bubbling emotions, wants, and needs, underneath. Both build up to the piece’s off-screen climax that is left to the viewer’s imagination. A question remains- what happened next?

The piece is interspersed with moments of evaluation, contemplation, & rest in between the domestic scenes. These act as memories or meditations on the underlying tension. In the last scene, the back and forth conversation becomes intense and repetitive, building to a magical, mysterious climax. The final scene presents each individual bringing their own wishes and desires to the literal and figurative table, but it seems, like two opposing magnets, the two don’t match up, they are incompatible.

Kolbe Roper’s statement about the work:
Creating Yarn Mountain, was for myself, based in how a relationship becomes solace and banal. This film is a piece of a larger conversation on interaction and intimacy between gay men. What you see and expect can become common and thus lose the erotic euphoria of personal connection. How do gay men operate as a presentation to the community and how do they operate in the privacy of their home? How do couples stay together and how does intimacy develop or become common place in the structure of the relationship, running through the motions. I feel this video begins a conversation on the ending of a relationship, what keeps them together and why?

Roman Udalov’s statement about the work:
My goal, as the director and collaborator was to capture the domestic situation, the vibrancy of the house and the elements that make up a home. Even though the home is now more of a shell these two dwell in, rather than a loving place they share, I wanted to capture the scenario of intertwined lives being led, but also making clear that while this was the home of people in love, it’s now a shell of monotony. The lovely burial ground of a dead relationship full of avoidance, a disconnected juxtaposition of color and light w/ bored, non-emotional communication, not making real connections, only verbal intonations and separate lives. I wanted to show the broken relationship, the deterioration, the disuse. I felt it was of significant importance that only the mouths and other fragments were shown at the end, like that’s all that’s left. No physical connection, two islands drowning with no lifeline.

Toban Nichols’ Biography

Toban Nichols, is a visual artist from Los Angeles. His work has been seen in film festivals & galleries around LA, in Romania, Israel, & the Netherlands. He was also featured in Pop Rally at The Museum of Modern Art in New York City.

After earning a Bachelors degree in painting, he studied New Media at the San Francisco Art Institute in California where he recieved an MFA in New Genres. He has been granted a residency with the Experimental Television Center in New York, and awarded the Juror’s Pick at the ArtHouse Film Festival for his video entitled “BATTLESTATIONS!!

In the past five years Nichols launched a line of textiles, created a photo app for iDevices worldwide and published his first photo book titled ‘MY TWIN’.

His work can be seen at

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