projection size 200 x 150cm
5 Mins 29 Secs
A young girl sits naked on the edge of a bed. Her hair covers her face and she wears headphones. All we hear is the dim sound of drum ‘n’ bass music (2000), just the treble, as if emitted from the headphones. Her pose and shadow on the wall behind lend reference to Munch’s puberty (1894) – a study of a naked adolescent girl. Unlike her counterpart in the painting, the girl in the video displays an easy confidence in her nakedness. As if oblivious to her viewers, she drums her fingers to the music and moves her head with the rhythm. The length of the film(5’ 29”) is the length of the drum ‘n’ bass track. puberty is projected on a wall inside a room-sized box.
portrait with a cigarette
video on 3:4 flat screen
6 Mins 18 Secs
This video and sound installation is a portrait of a young girl. It shares, however, little of the poised and contemplative nature of Munch’s Self Portrait with Cigarette (1895) which it references. A young girl looks down at us from a flat video screen. With an air of arrogance she holds her right hand loosely across her chest, a burning cigarette balanced between her fingers. A remote control, within the grasp of her left, emerges from the deep darkness of the background. Defiantly, the young girl points it towards us, and with it she takes charge of our viewing experience. Loud bursts of drum ‘n base and garage music (2000) erupt at intervals from the speakers behind the viewer. portrait with cigarette captures the restless spirit of its subject which is at odds with the composed and often timeless character of the traditional painted portrait. The event and the work terminate when the cigarette burns out.
Video and sound installation.
Projection within breeze block house.
450 x 280 x 280 cm
7 minutes 44 seconds
The Kiss is staged as a wall projection in an underground club like setting, to the steady beat of House music (2000). Wooden floorboards, breezeblock walls and rubber curtains that hang in the openings of this purpose built room, give the work a strong olfactory dimension. Like the Munch painting from 1897, which it references, The Kiss shows two lovers, a man and a woman, locked in embrace. Time is as if suspended, so absorbed they are in the kiss. Barely breathing, barely moving, they mesmerise us, they make us hold our breath too. An over exposed 16mm film merges the lovers’ faces into a single bleached form, and the little marks of colour, like a red bracelet, flare up. Bodily boundaries blur and distinct elements appear like blotches on an abstract canvas. Only the slow yet passionate movement of fingers, as hands rub gently against body, betray the impossibility of this image of contained desire, and un-freeze its painterly stasis.