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Liverpool/Sheffield, United Kingdom

Thursday, 27 January 2011

The Blue coat- Underwater

This morning I paid the blue coat gallery a visit. There is currently exhibition on called 'underwater.'


I found the exhibition quite disappointing  as a whole due to its lack of substance however there were two video pieces that were particularly relevant to my own practice.

  • 'Around 375 million years ago, our ancestors crawled out of the waters...' by Dorothy Cross is a 6 minute video piece showing a woman totally submerged in water apart from her nose and mouth. Surrounding her within the water are an infinite number of Jelly fish. The Jelly fish caress her body and seem unfazed by her presence making a seemingly terrifying prospect appear to be completely the opposite, both soothing and idyllic. A lot of emphasis is given to the movement of her hair within the water. It dances is if it were part of the water. Neither the Jellyfish or the vulnerable naked flesh see the other as a threat allowing both to exist as one. The film works perfectly in a very traditional gallery environment (a boxed off dark room with a viewing point)
  •  I was unaware that a piece of Bill Violas work was being shown in the blue coat and due to the fact that I've only recently been interested in Violas work, getting to see a piece first hand was a really exiting experience. 'Becoming light' explores the relationship between light and life. Instead of total submersion causing a sense of anxiety (like in my film) the sensation of being underwater is expressed as a feeling of freedom and liberation. Two figures one male and one female move around below the water entwined within each others presence. They appear to be lost within each other and infinitely connected due to there complete submersion. This particular video brings forward the idea that being totally submerged in a physical sense also allows total submersion within ones own thoughts and self (or in this case each others) without any influence from the outside world. The film is shown on a small flat HD screen due to its HD quality. It is surrounded by various other pieces. I felt the other pieces interfered with the serenity of Bill Violas piece. The piece deserves to be shown in a room on its own without any outside influence for the viewer to be sufficiently absorbed.

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