The infinite mix exhibition reignited my interest for using film within my practice. The offsite exhibition by the Hayward gallery comprised of 10 cinematic spaces takes us on a poetical, witty and thought provoking tour of contemporary life.
I was particularly drawn to Ugo Rondionone’s film, which features the beat poet John Giron. The installation is at once humorous, darkly macabre and totally immersive. Surrounded by four screens, the audience is faced with Giorn’s theatrical presence from all sides, we are taken into his world, into the story of his life and yet we are removed from it. Both the physical barrier of the screen and the theatrical staging and choreography of the film give a sense of artifice, we are never quite sure if this is reality of fiction.
This interplay between the fictive world and the real world interests me, I have played with this within my own work,in “The room where the child sleeps” at the Crypt, in my explorations of the wizard of Oz and in many other works. I want to create worlds/spaces which the audience steps into, removing them for a moment from the ‘real’ world. In the case of Giorn’s performance it creates a humorous tension which allows the audience into the story of his life. In the case of my work I aim to create a tension between safe and unsafe spaces or protected and exposed spaces.
What was also interesting for me was the theatricality and performance of the piece, which created a highly choreographed and polished look at Giron's autobiographical history. This work is ultimately about identity and resinates with my work because of that.