Graduated from University of Leeds
Selected by Rebekka Kill
Untitled (Last Moments), 2006
Through metaphorical representations, the medium of video is used to present the transitory nature of life and notions of mortality. Objects, places, and moments that celebrate life are examined, reinforcing the ephemeral nature of existence against the passage of time. Site-specificity is always an important factor in the making of these works. For the MFA show I exhibited three works, which included two short projected films, and one site-specific video installation.
'Untitled (Last Moments)' captures a transitory moment; a butterfly flutters for the last time and collapses with exhaustion as it experiences the last moments of its existence. Focusing on minutiae, the film strives to create a relationship between the butterfly and the viewer, evoking a sense of fragility and mortality as the screen fades to black.
'Untitled (Pendulum)' depicts a shadow of an inoperative light bulb, swinging back and forth on an angled surface plain. The real object is removed; making the shadow the only thing that defines the angle of the wall it is projected upon. The concept of the film is retained between layers of light, depth, and surface. At the beginning of film the 'pendulum' is quick in pace, and as the momentum slowly diminishes the film fades. As instruments of time, both the pendulum and the moving image convey the fragility of temporal existence.
'Untitled (Physics Storeroom)' was a site-specific installation created within the physics department at the University of Leeds, which is where the MFA/MA degree show took place. A packed storeroom full of obsolete furniture and machinery was emptied and then reassembled in the same space, placed in conjunction with fourteen television monitors and DVD players sourced for the exhibition. Individual films were created for each screen, reanimating the various objects within the environment they were found, each film lasting no more than a minute. The films were then edited, looped, and burned to disk in the installation space.
The short bursts of movement in the films provided an insight in to the history, time, and eventual degeneration of this now lifeless room and its contents. Apparitions or ghosts appeared and reappeared in time, representing what has gone whilst simultaneously portraying a living trace of duration. The imagery presented through the medium of video becomes not just a representation of reality; it is evidence of existence.
Victoria Lucas' work constitutes a fascinating take on site specific video. Deep in the science block of the University of Leeds in what, at first, appears to be a store room, full to the roof with piled up, mechanical and technical equipment, nestle a large number of screens of varying sizes. These screens show looped and repetitive video images that reference the machines, gadgetry, tables and chairs in the room. These images function as a metaphor for the transitory nature of life and notions of mortality, says the catalogue.
Standing in this room it's impossible to view all the screens simultaneously, some are low down on the the floor, some high up, some hidden, a chair spins endlessly, a light switches on and off. What do all these machines that litter the room do? Are they redundant? Do they have a use, or a value? If they sprang to life and did something, would we understand their function? What was this room used for, before it was used for showing art? These video works grouped together in this mess and ephemera talk about the space that they inhabit and the mysterious, magical, scientific stuff that once happened here. Lucas' catalogue entry discusses notions of life and death, existence and time, and certainly her work explores these ideas. However, for me, the real excitement in this work lies in its subtle and complex narrative. This installation revives this space, and resurrects these objects, the space is alive and yet its purpose is dramatically altered.
(Rebekka Kill, 2007)
Qualifications and training
- 2007 MFA, Fine Art Practice, Distinction, University of Leeds
- 2004 BA (Hons) Sculpture, 2:1, Norwich School of Art and Design
- 2001 BTEC Foundation Art, Distinction, Wakefield College
Web links - gallery/work/projects