Plenum

Installation, #1 2003, #2 2004, #3 2009, #4 2010

Steel, dvd projection (looped), plywood (#1, #3, #4)

Metalwork: Michael Sanders

 

 

Plenum is a site-responsive rather than site-specific piece, which has been subject to multiple iterations. It was first shown at the 97-99 Gallery London, in a flooded basement. The work was remade for a solo exhibition at Galerie Sebastianskapelle in Ulm, Germany, a converted chapel which allowed for a view of the piece from a high vantage point. Plenum #2 comprises two elements: a low steel table, 80 x 240 x 15 cm deep, and an elongated projected image. The open-ended metal construction (which conceals a video projector) frames the projection of an empty niche, seemingly recessed into the gallery wall. The materiality of the slab-like table contrasts with the ephemeral nature of the projection, which fades and returns throughout the day as the light changes.

Designed for spaces that admit some natural light (other than a version at the Crypt Gallery, London), this is a projection piece that rejects the notion of the black-box. Periodically, a breathing figure (the artist) slowly materialises within the niche, only to gradually disappear again. The work thus alternates between figural presence and absence. The geometry of the projection, seldom an issue in video art, asserts itself in a very particular way: the viewer can never occupy the point of origin of the projection, which lies immediately above the table; the virtual space of the film, with its pronounced perspectival box, never quite coheres into a fully-formed illusion. In 2010 the work was installed in the Chapel of Keble College, Oxford.