SILENCE AND DARKNESS
1st – 28th June, 2002
Michael Curran, Edward Dorrian & Sally Morfill, Marc Hulson, Robert Mabb, Susan Morris, Esther Planas, Mark R Taylor, Gunther Zehetner.
SILENCE and DARKNESS
The exhibition Silence and Darkness develops themes explored in Silent Movies (Five Years, London,1998), curated on the premise that any work is necessarily incomplete, determined by the gaps, silences and ellipses that allow space for interpretation. By placing together works in which these kinds of empty spaces assume a particular importance, the possibility is opened up for a form of cross-referencing, overlay or interpenetration between each piece, thus allowing the viewer simultaneous layers of interpretation and sensory experience. This is reinforced by the range of media in the works presented, which include randomly ordered data on computer screen, music, film, video projection, drawing and photography.
On the opening night the composer Mark R Taylor will perform four piano pieces, which will be recorded and then played back through the subsequent duration of the show. In the London version of the show Taylor made a decision to play unannounced and while people were talking, thereby structuring an incidental overlap between his works and the context they were performed in. Taylor’s participation produces a kind of random, impromptu ‘soundtrack’ to the exhibition; at the same time the visual works play a silent accompaniment to his music, shifting back and forth between stillness and movement, emptiness and image. By actually containing, as a component of the work, extended passages of silence, Taylor’s work foregrounds the fragmentary pieces of darkness within each individual work – and activates them.
Michael Curran’s video work consists of a blank white screen with sound track. Recorded the moment before the artist went to sleep the soundtrack is a hesitating monologue that attempts to describe the image he sees before his eyes. Susan Morris’s video of a blank white wall recorded with the camera on auto-focus is subtitled with the transcript of a session recorded under hypnotic trance. Marc Hulson presents a fragmentary sequence of untitled drawings, in which something vaguely figurative is suggested but never fully realised. Edward Dorrian and Sally Morfill have constructed a fictitious filmic scenario – a single scene in which the dialogue is split across two screens. Robert Mabb’s video loop is an endless rotation of an image of someone silently emoting. Gunter Zehetner uses16mm film and the edit as a device for viewing, obsessively returning to a site of ‘adoration’, which is cut away. Amy Eshoo’s video loops an unthought, incidental gesture, the result of which casts into the room an alternation between light and shadow. Esther Planas projects a series of abstracted stills shot from a movie playing on TV – these decontextualised moments are intercut with personal images, and accompanied by the repetitive intonaton of the refrain dream of you.
Mark R Taylor’s music is scored in a way that stresses the interpretation of the performer: the outcome of his performance in Amsterdam, its relation to the space and the way in which the various combinations of works are hung is, necessarily, unpredictable.