Group Portrait, 2016
Participatory, site-specific happening/communal performance, installation
Spotlighting and dismantling the ritual of the exhibition opening, Group Portrait was a site-specific installation and communal performance that responded to the properties of a two room gallery space.
Entering the gallery on opening night, the audience saw a large picture frame on the back wall of the first room, and a large white table in the centre of the other. Directly above the table was a camera, simultaneously recording and sending a live video feed of the white table surface to a projector that displayed the image neatly within the picture frame. Drink in hand, a gallery goer knows to observe (never touch) that which is within the frame upon the white wall or that which sits upon the plinth like table.
Strong spotlights from one side of the room lit up the table and the space around it. As the audience entered the space, their own silhouettes produced fleeting impressions, and as they exited, they were asked to leave their drinking glasses upon the white table. The glasses were presented a) as objects, b) as an image within a frame, c) as chance light compositions upon the walls. Through the use of familiar visual signifiers of value, along with the transformative power of light, common objects and behaviours asked to be pondered.
These varying modes of representation provide alternate perspectives of currently occurring realities. Whilst their ‘live’ nature highlights an immediacy of consequence, the aberrant viewpoints provide anonymity, resulting in destabilisation and a disjuncture between action and reaction.
The glasses congregated, forming a still life group portrait of fingerprints and DNA, remnants that told of a communal consumption. Playing on ideas of memory – its fabrication, signifiers and distortion – the event was replayed/relayed/re-lived in silence for the duration of the exhibition; on loop within the frame and settled upon the table top.