Chamber

Installation, 2005

Canvas, timber, plywood, dvd projection (looped)

Fabrication: Mick Stickland (in collaboration with artist)

 

Chamber is a work constructed using white painted canvas stretchers, with the backs of the stretchers facing outwards towards the gallery space. This is not so much a reference to painting, as an intention to construct an enclosed structure that nevertheless admits a soft, diffused light. The viewer is restricted to a very narrow entrance, 180 cm high and 60 cm wide, the dimensions of which confine and locate the body. From this position, the viewer can look down at – but not descend – a strangely scale-less flight of stairs, leading to the flooded floor of the ‘chamber’ beyond, a space that is 300 x 120 cm and 200 cm high. The structure houses a video projector, framing the projection onto the rear wall of a looped film, where a back-lit wall slowly recedes into the distance until it fades into pure light.

The film is cropped so that the vanishing point of the film corresponds to the viewer’s eye-height: the projected space thus appears to extend the dimensions of the physical space itself. However, the illusion is contradicted by the projection’s reflection in the water-filled floor, which both reveals its status as a two-dimensional image, and opens up a second vanishing point which continues the descent of the steps. Chamber thus presents two vanishing points. While locating a viewer as a physical presence, it presents a space which cannot be entered.