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The video work ‘Waiting for Los Angeles’ draws a portrait of Los Angeles through the eyes of one of its few truly democratic public spaces, Griffith’s Park. Griffith’s Park was donated to the City of Los Angeles under the provisor that it would remain open to the public and not exploited for financial profit. With its prime location in the middle of this massive urban sprawl, to this day the park attracts people from all walks of life. By position a camera and waiting for the people to pass the city passes by you revealing itself through the lens of the glances on snippets of people’s lives.
Shot over a two year period and edited down from roughly 300 hours of footage to 1 hour and 12 minutes, the work describes this quintessentially post modern-city that is so resistant to interpretation through a consistent single frame. The users of the park enter the frame like a stage becoming participants in this 20th Century Waiting for Godot where all the little nothings describe a bigger narrative.
CENTRAL PROJECTION: click here to view video
Off Road looks at the implementation of the notion freedom in the United States and how it is manifested in a unique relationship to landscape. The multi-channel video installation explores freedom as a construct that is instrumental in sustaining the political system that houses it. Central to this is a probing of the boundaries between documentary and fictional filmic and photographic languages.
Off Road was shot in a landscape of Sahara like sand dunes which is also a state vehicular recreation area bordering on a nature reserve. On a weekday the location is fairly empty. Over week end thousands of users arrive in their RV’s, SUV’s and self built motor vehicles. The main focus is driving these vehicles in the deep sand of the the dunes.
Video Object 1: click here to view video
On the one hand The Sate Vehicular Recreation Area plays a significant role in creating a sense of community, a temporary city that joins people from distant backgrounds through their shared interest. Many of its users claim that it cuts through class and social boundaries. Juxtaposed to this is the problematic issue of the contested ecological impact of the activity that results in a constant threat of closure. Below the surface of the event rests the underlying paradox between the amount of energy and resources invested and this seemingly futile activity
Slide show : Slide Show with Interviews
Alongside this the location encapsulates a remainder of a pioneer spirit; a sense of entitlement and claim to land that has defined and shaped this region of the world. Except now there is no more new land left to claim. Here we are already at the edge of the Pacific Ocean. There is nowhere left to go but elsewhere to claim new land.
Video Installation, Tullie House
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The video installation ‘Playing the Cave’ was a response to the said increase to rainfall in the Lake District attributed to global warming. Shot in the mouth of a disused mine the video work rejects an the traditional understanding of landscape through representation by going below the surface and looking at the tunnels left behind from one of the most actively mined areas in the United Kingdom.
The work actively seeks to disrupt the coherent image and narrative. The trancelike, rhythmic and tribal, soundtrack is composed of individual raindrops recorded inside the cave with the help of experimental recording techniques.
Each beat triggers a new image. Fractured experience becomes a means of subjugating content to image, image to sound and sound to chance. Through this process the decision-making is one step removed from the author. Loosely based on the notion of a stop the rain-dance ‘Playing the Cave is a playful evocation of ancient rituals, myth and man’s desire, often futile, to gain control over nature.
New Expressions 3 has been made possible by an Arts Council England National pathfinder programme that fosters collaboration between contemporary artists and museums.
Uta Kögelsberger is based in London and lectures at the University of Newcastle.
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The video work South by Southwest was exhibited alongside the un-hatched eggs of the failed attempts to breed offspring by the last golden eagle in England. One theory defended by Dave Walker who has been observing the eagle for the past thirty years is that his inability to reproduce is linked to a change in food supply which in turn is a result of climate change.
The work traces eagle’s movements through the notes of Dave Walker, who has been tracking him over the last 30 years. Dave Walker’s words impose eagle-defined co-ordinates over the picturesque landscape to propose a new kind of mapping.