Graduated from Chelsea College of Art and Design
Selected by Ceri Hand
Narrative Mirage: Slowness is a deceptive play, 2012
Rosie Farrell: 'Narrative Mirage: Slowness is a deceptive play' (2012)
Installation with four videos (HD video and digital animation) with single soundtrack, steel modular shelving unit with glass, crystal sphere and rotating motor, projectors, DVD players, amplifier, speakers, CD/MP3, Chelsea MA show, London
I was lured into Rosie Farrell’s installation at Chelsea via a cascading and haunting soundtrack permeating the entire space: Farrell’s stretched and slowed-down excerpt from Clint Mansell’s 'Requiem for a Dream' had a paralysing effect, in turn melancholic yet utterly compelling.
An open black steel shelving system in the centre of the space presented the technology fuelling the projections and audio, providing the sculptural anchor within the installation and revealing the mechanics at play. It reminded me of the scene in The Wizard of Oz when, upon their return to the Wizard's chamber, Toto opens a curtain revealing the Wizard to be an ordinary man, who apologetically explains that Dorothy's companions already possess what they have been seeking all along.
The black shelving system formed a transparent modernist grid, framing a non-linear narrative played out across the four films. One of the films neatly referenced Trisha Brown and Merce Cunningham: three choreographed dancers each executing absurd mechanical movements, as if they were a technological device or a cult performing some kind of ritual. The dancers were set against a backdrop of deep space (or the void that exists between celestial bodies), which was actually an animation of photocopied dust.
On the screen projected next to the dancers an orbiting photocopier becomes a bygone spaceship, a relic from the past, seemingly searching for originality.
A third screen weaves together Maurice Blanchot’s vision of the everyday depicted through sign language, set against a series of ‘tricks’ drawn from Richard Wiseman’s book Quirkology, and his research into deception and the psychology of illusion, focusing on the techniques used by professional magicians.
The fourth film presented YouTube footage of the recent riots and subsequent looting of electronic stores, projected through a crystal sphere, resulting in a rainbow-edged, fractured multiplicity of images.
This shimmering mirage is a key to Farrell’s interest in the unreliability of the image and narrative and the simultaneous richness and meaninglessness of in-between states. A forensic unpicking of language, a deft reveal of the edit, a highlighting of the margins and a tickling the juicy underbelly of inanimate objects all play out quietly but captivatingly in this work.
She invites us to reflect on the perils of capitalism and desire and upon how we are navigating the everyday and technological progress.
Rosie Farrell (b.1983, Luton, UK) lives and works in London. She recently graduated from Chelsea College of Art and Design (2012) and has participated in We Can Elude Control at Bold Tendencies (2012), Switch/Over at Wimbledon Space (2012), Ideal Home at Chelsea Space (2011), and Gone with the Wind at Raven Row (2011).
(Ceri Hand, 2012)
Qualifications and training
- 2012 MA Fine Art (Distinction), Chelsea College of Art and Design
- 2011 Postgraduate Diploma in Fine Art, Chelsea College of Art and Design
- 2004 BA (Hons) Fine Art, Liverpool John Moores University