Umbria, ombra: the acute breach between the sun’s glare and the shade’s mercy – negotiating less or more of each drives the paths of us warm-blooded things.
I made a photographic piece ‘Sunshadebathing’ in the environs of the Castle in which I wore a half-black half-white suit and lay with the sun and the shade on either side of the suit’s join.
Another piece reversed a normal film-casting convention to show me as a deaf actor performing as a hearing character in a nearby derelict tower. In ‘Acute’ I appear to be a tourist in distress, my over-acute hearing picking up some unseen threat as I run from room to room to hide around the labyrinthine tower. In an elaborate game with the chasing camera (that is also a riff on E.A. Poe’s ‘The Tell-Tale Heart’), I can either run noisily to escape or hold my breath to be silent. I also made a video piece in which my hand was encased in a block of ice held overhead for 45 minutes as it melted in the midday sun.
But ultimately, the extended period in which to reflect on my past work and to look to the future in such relaxed surroundings has been the most valuable aspect of my Fellowship.
“Acute”, 2003, video still