Douglas Gordon’s 1995, Confessions of a Justified Sinner, investigates the psychological impact of the moving image and themes of perception, memory and voyeurism (sexual stimulation by visual means). His work features footage which is enlarged, slowed down and projected onto two separate screens, one negative and one positive, in order to prolong and blur the two states. To me, the most interesting concept portrayed throughout this piece is that you don’t actually know why the man is making the facial features that he is. Throughout the piece, the man goes through a lot of emotions that are intense to watch, but you don’t understand the cause. I am fascinated by how one screen effects the other in this work, and how the image wouldn’t really be complete if it only featured one screen. These two aspects — the difficult to understand cause and the complimenting screens — are the main ways that my project engages with this work.
I am also responding to Joan Jonas’s 2014, Light Time Tales. Her work featured ten different installations – one of them was this light projection where light shattered off these hanging glass objects. It was a reinterpretation of the relationship between art and narrative forms. I have tried to incorporate and engage with this idea throughout my work, using art to portray the narrative that exists between two people connecting.
Other small inspirations for my work include Gill Eatherley’s 1973 work, Chair Installation. However, most of this inspiration came from the reinterpretation I conducted in class. In my belief, the defining factor of the reinterpretation was the physical chairs that sat in front of the projection. The chairs added a further dimension to the work and when light hit the chairs, it cast very interesting shadows. I have included a similar aspect within my own project, a prop that adds to the story rather than not serving a purpose.
Execution of concept, exploration of medium and exhibition: overview of project
“I ignored your aura but it grabbed me by the hand, like the moon pulled the tide and the tide pulled the sand” – Talib Kweli
The quote above is something I’ve always really loved and has acted as the sort of building blocks of my project. This quote to me is all about the energy forces that we have no control over. We live on a blue planet that circles around a ball of fire next to a moon that moves the sea. We are held down by a force we cannot see … these are aspects of our planet that are so mind-blowing – to me it has always seemed ridiculous to think that there aren’t energetic vibrations constantly acting on us as well, around us and inside us. So my project is all about being aware and in appreciation of these energy forces.
To do so, I am exhibiting a two-screen installation that aims to portray the energy that exists between two lovers. Slightly sexual in nature, my fascination for the human body is evident within the project. It will be lacking in full nudity, but rather a man and a woman on separate side-by-side large screens. The two people will be back to back and the image will cut off just above waist height. The image will be very dull, with the brightest thing in the installation being a hanging Perspex ball of sorts that hangs in font of the middle of the two screens. The disco-ball-like shape acts to shatter light all over the room. A mini projector will be shining on to the ball which will refract the light and cast these rays which are my way of portraying the energy I was referring to earlier.
Touched by these light rays, one person in the projection will make actions that have an influence on the other, without physically touching each other – since they are back to back. So say the man reaches forward and does a hand movement that would look like he is pulling on something, on the opposite screen, it will be like the woman has just had her ponytail pulled, making her head jerk back towards the mans back. The movements will all be slowed down and quite sensual to try and portray the energy that makes the two people do things and I think it’ll look interesting back to back when they are not actually touching but one person’s movement still effects the other.
In terms of medium and media that I’m exploring, I’m interacting with the projector light and allowing that to be the actual solid meaning behind my work. I like that it will be a physical light, rather than a metaphorical energy, that people can actually walk through and consciously think about the fact that this energy is actually working on them at all times. I want people to really think about how it feels to be inside a body and think about what causes you to want to reach out and touch someone. Further on this, since it’s a two-screen projection with two projectors, I want people to be able to walk in front of one of the projector and see how this stops the connection between the two people.
My ideal conditions would be in the black box which would make the energy have the most intense impact on both the work and the people viewing it, and also make the people in the projections stand out a lot more.
This is my project, an exploration of The Pull spiritual energy has on people
Presentation feedback and comments:
The biggest feedback I received was to keep everything as dark as possible — from the room to the image that is projected. Another idea was to project the same image (the two people) onto the light ball so that the flashes of the light are in sync with the movements of the people.