Motion Capture at the Lewis Glucksman Gallery interrogates the specific qualities of surfaces that capture the moving and still image, the markings of space and time and their ability to carry, convey and make permanent the temporality of the imagination. Installed over two brightly lit floors, this exhibition focuses on a selection of artists who explore drawing and the moving image, in a manner that challenges the ways in which traditional narratives of beginnings and endings are seen and understood. Because drawing in art history has often been relegated to the provisional status of preparation rather than completion, curators Ed Krčma and Matt Packer selected artists who reject the notion that history operates in a straight linear narrative.
This notion is conveyed most powerfully on the surfaces of Ailbhe Ní Bhriain’s ‘Vanishing Point’ (2004) and Alice Maher’s ‘Flora’ (2009). Oscillating between representation and abstraction, Ní Bhriain’s film works record the disappearance of strangely familiar rural Irish landscapes by slowly dissolving her multi-layered photographic images in a bleach solution until they become a blur of horizontal streaks. The slow rise of pigment from the surface of the print is edited in reverse and looped so that the image disappears and re-emerges seamlessly, thus disrupting the fixed nature of the print, and creating a visceral representation of our futile attempts to grasp remembered images of a lost homeland from our minds eye.
These film works, like the morphing creatures that move between animal, vegetal and mineral states inscribed and erased in Maher’s pencil drawings, capture disintegration and re-generation over time. They evoke the notion of a ‘thin place’, where it is possible to cross over a visionary threshold and walk the flesh transparent. For both artists, these points of erasure are inherent parts of the work’s final form; they are the unfinished parts of a whole in transition to another manifestation.”