The work is predominantly, though not exclusively, film and video. TV and cinema have accustomed viewers to rapid cuts and condensed narratives, treating the medium as a fast-changing window on the world. This compacts our expectations of a reward or resolution. However, when we view unedited ‘real time’ it ticks by on-screen with an increasing sense that something must be about to happen. It is this notion of expectation and outcome inherent in the narrative structure of moving image work that holds its appeal for me as an artist. I have found that through the process of editing, of focussing on a period of time intently these moments become more real, more memorable. The scripting, editing, and reviewing process has become a key element of several works.
Through my work, with its mixture of documentary and fiction, from periods of intense activity to long silences, I want to allow a space for contemplation. The line between truth and fiction is always blurred and viewing and reviewing film has heightened my awareness of the fictions created from these edited moments of reality. It is the analysis of unpredictable details and accidents that exposes infinite potential narratives. I look for significance in the everyday and seek to expand fleeting moments and interstices. Beginnings and full stops become part of a wider arena; they take centre stage and become the main event. It is in these moments we are held between expectation and the unknown. It is only by holding up a mirror to ourselves and the minutiae of our actions and interactions that we can even begin to develop a sense of empathy and understanding. Just as importantly it is only then that we begin to comprehend the space between us, the doubt that exists between what you know, and what I understand.
Perhaps I prefer the uncertainty of these moments more than the certainty that they will pass. This has been an ongoing focus in my work and, I imagine, will continue to be a concern in future pieces.
Anthony Shapland, 2009
- 2011 Ffilm 2, Glynn Vivian Gallery, Swansea
- 2010 Manchester Contemporary, with Mermaid&Monster, Spitalfields, Manchester
- 2010 LISTE - The Young Art Fair in Basel, Tanya Leighton Gallery, Berlin
- 2009 Portrait (For a Screenplay) of Beth Harmon, Limoncello, London
- 2009 En Residencia, Laboral, Gijon, Spain