Conditions of Visibility 2007-8
Conditions of Visibility is the first of a series of works under the umbrella title ShiftingTerrains, which takes as subject matter the shifting terrain of the coastline of South East Kent, specifically the liminal space between the edge of the sea and the land, a fragile fluctuating zone vulnerable to climate change. The characteristics of this sparse landscape are largely experienced through the confluence of weather patterns, human industrial activity and seasonal tourism.
All the works investigate the representation of landscape through the materiality of video and sound, using close observation of seasonal change and passing time. ‘Place' materialises as the confluence of shifting patterns of energy production and consumption, evidenced by erosion and corrosion, temporary habitation, change and regeneration.
Conditions of Visibility consists of a three screen video projection installation. In each of the three screens, mist sweeps across a coastal landscape intermittently obscuring a lighthouse and power station and producing a hazy indistinct visibility through which the sun pulsates. The light source seems to act as a kind of optical vortex, which at times seems to suck the atmosphere into itself and at others pours light out.
The three projected light images together compose a constellation of lights which reference the source of light (the sun) as itself a star. There is a clear reference to the tradition of Romantic landscape painting and in particular the work of JMW Turner, but here the changing relationships between the three images draw attention to the interval between perception and recollection as an event in time.
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