4 Students studying Fine Art have work being screened in the Linear Gallery at UCA Farnham. A showreel of the work below presents the work and the 4 students from year 2 & 3 BA (Hons) Fine Art and MA Fine Art explain their work and reactions to it being screened in a public space with the college.
This work explores subverting expectations about the domestic and everyday with “The Uncanny”, to challenge and affect the viewer with an unsettling and visceral film.
Inhale, Exhale was a video piece that intended to make the viewers aware of their own respiration process through the viewing of an intimate close up of the lips or mouth opening and closing by a performer. It intended to evoke an intense feeling of being uncomfortable in the act of viewing something on a screen, yet give the sense of domination by being able, through the use of technology, to be in a very intimate area of a persons face without the object being aware of the gaze upon it.
The video piece also is an on-going commentary in my work about the connections people have with viewing and experiencing sexual and intimate parts of the human body through technology and how the experience differs when the experience is in real, physical life.
The piece was a recording of a performance that gave a sense of urgency about the necessity of breathing. Yet the cropping on the screen for the piece perceives to be very intimate. The frantic movements of the multiple layers of videos on the screen persisted for the viewers’ gaze to attempt to keep up with the screens as they moved quickly and erratically.
The piece explored my own face, and I feel it objectified this area of my own body. Which meant that having the video installed in the Linear gallery gave myself as the maker, and the performer in the video, a slight sense of embarrassment. This was because of the fact that the video invites the viewer into an intimate area my own body. But the viewer has not been given an identity for whom they are watching, it seems completely anonymous.
Anonymity is becoming something very powerful in current day with the use of technology, the web camera and the Internet in general. This experimentation on anonymity, the absurd and the abject are all themes that are being brought to attention in my video works and practice at the moment. Having Inhale, Exhale placed in the Linear gallery helped me to confirm ideas and thoughts about how my work would be perceived in a public space.
Inhale, Exhale is only the beginning of video works to come from my practice. I intend to explore objectification through the use of the abject, the absurd and a handful of cropping of screens.
‘Seeing II’ (We Are the Champions) explores ideas of appropriation, religious conflict and media censorship. As well as this, the work focuses on the idea of perception and how this can be altered. Following the previous work I made, ‘Seeing’, I wanted to continue to explore how audio can change the tone and sense imagery can have and how our perception can change according to this. ‘Seeing II’ takes on a much more humorous approach in comparison to ‘Seeing’. The choice of audio mocks the imagery and opens up and new way to view the imagery in comparison to the original footage. ‘Seeing II’ engages media censorship and the way things can be distorted in order to evoke a certain emotion or reaction. My intentions in making this film was to create humour and annoyance. Judging by some of the viewers reactions to the film, this was achieved. Following a complaint that was made about the work has only encouraged me to make this work available to a wider audience. I would like to submit this work to online viewing platforms and see the response it receives. I understand that this work is very controversial and has potential to be problematic, however I feel that it is important in order for the work to be successful.
With this piece I was exploring how we use signifiers, (images) to piece together a narrative. Within my work I am exploring how I use pre-existing material to construct/ re-narrate events which I personally have no experience of, and through doing so I am able to weave in new narratives and blur the lines between what is actual and what is in fact fiction. I am also looking at how historical events and events in general aren’t isolated and how imagery within history is reflected and reoccur. It’s always quite strange presenting a film and in a way more resolved as you are getting off of a computer screen and out of a context which to me is very domestic and familiar. Of course there are always going to be issues with the use of preexisting material and establishing authority and ownership of the material but what I find is with the era from which I extract my source material is in a way so far away and so easily assessable on the internet there’s a strange unspoken right to use that material. The aesthetics of the videos I use obviously contextualise the film within the era from which they’re sourced but, this further feeds into the idea I’m exploring surrounding the repetition of imagery. And one thing that has occurred is that particularly with this film, as the anchoring narrative of the Iranian Embassy Siege isn’t known to all, to some it felt a bit like a history lesson, and as though I was bringing attention to another bad thing that’s happened in the world and from this I’ve started to reconstruct well known events, such as the assassination of JFK but through reflective images. I also find that when people put material onto the internet they’re willingly sharing it with the anonymous masses. It’s important for my work to get it public as I feel that until it isn’t presented it doesn’t exist, it’s a strange thing whereby it only exists on my computer’s hard drive as binary code and actually presenting it makes it more physical and actually exists in a concrete reality.