I Was Once As You Are...
Sculptural installation, 2002
Steel, acrylic, plywood, lights, 2 x dvd projections (looped)
Performer: Chris Swain
Metalwork: Michael Sanders
Fabrication: Mick Stickland and Stef Willis
I Was Once As You Are … is a sculptural installation, first installed at the Kingsgate Gallery, London. The work is a specific response to Masaccio’s extraordinary fresco Trinity (c.1425-7), in S. Maria Novella, Florence. The stepped architectural construction is conceived as a containing structure onto one might ascend to view the painting’s secondary, non-empirical viewpoint. This structure is realised as a scaled proposition, constructed in steel, mounted on a specially designed acrylic light-box.
Two projections are incorporated into the piece: one from a periscopic device mounted under the table, and one onto the wall of the gallery, which projects the figure as life-sized. The projections are of a series of yogic movements, filmed from above and from the side, which echo the figure of the crucified Christ in Masaccio’s painting, transforming Christ’s agony into a series of formal (and secularised) moves.