Still Life Moving Fragments

Still Life Moving Fragments, Tin Sheds Gallery: Planning and installing

August 30th, 2012

The artists’ lounge at the Belconnen Art Centre, where we previously exhibited, is 6m x 4m with a ceiling height of about 3m. In comparison, the space at the Tin Sheds Gallery, Sydney, is 13.85m x 4.93m with a ceiling that rises from 4m to 5.1m. Consequently, some re-thinking was needed to adapt our existing works and installation to the new space.

After a site visit to the TSG, we decided on the following:

  1. expand from a 6-screen installation (2 series of 3) to 12-screen one (2 series of 6)
  2. eliminate black (the black frames and the black wires) from view
  3. add a band of colour that runs along the length of the 13.85 m wall

We commissioned 12 custom-built boxes that sit over the digital screens directly hung on the wall, evenly spaced. The frames of boxes cover the shiny black plastic frames of the screens at the front and the sides. The four sides of the boxes meet the wall at right angles.  The colour band runs along the length of the wall and over these box-frames (i.e. they are painted the same colour).

The idea is to bring a sense of cohesion to the individual elements without compressing them into one continuous grid. Masking the external hardware of the LCD screen (except for the image display) takes the emphasis away from the screens as technological gadgets. Conversely, instead of hiding the screens behind a false wall (not a feasible option for us in practical terms), the boxes allow the images to take on the status of objects.

White wiring was made up to replace the thin black power cables (in actual fact, these are simply extensions that connect the screens to the power source). These drop from the bottom left-hand side of the boxes to the floor. The decision to eliminate black from the work serves to sever two connections: first to technological gadgetry and secondly to cinema.

The conscious distancing from cinema began in our installation at BAC in our lighting design and our decision not to provide seating. We extend this theme in TSg installation most notably by using natural light. The long space is illuminated by the changing daylight filtering in from the high windows on the raised part of the ceiling just above the 13.85m wall. The bright light also reflect of the top of the boxes creating a faint glow above each screen.

We, however, cannot help but pay homage to Ozu by dropping the sight line to below standard hanging recommendation.

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