Conduit

Installation, 2005

Steel, monitor, dvd (looped)

Metalwork: Michael Sanders

 

 

Conduit is a site-specific work that was installed at the M2 Gallery in Peckham, London. The gallery comprises of a square recessed opening set into the front of a building designed by Quay 2c architects. Conduit places a flat metal plate, 90 cm2, immediately behind the glass of the window opening, into which a thin, horizontal slot is deeply recessed. The slanting sides create a false perspective with an asymmetrically placed ‘vanishing point’. The work constitutes the equivalent of an ‘Albertian window’, the steel plate corresponding to an intersection. At the rear of this slotted space is a looped video image of a diminutive figure, framed by the space but difficult to place in depth. The prone figure is static, the only movement being the regular rhythm of his breath.

Viewable for the twenty-four hours the gallery is open, he seemingly shares the immediate timeframe of the viewer while being suspended in time. Overlaid onto this very public encounter of the figure is the beholder’s own reflection, and the complex reflections of the street. These are apparent even during the day, the steel plate effectively transforming much of the opening into a mirror. Yet as the beholder presses her nose to the glass, the street recedes and another, seemingly imaginary space opens up. Removed from ‘real’ space, this space is devoid of visual clues as to depth or scale, a displaced space onto which the viewer is invited to project her own response to the encounter with the distant figure.