As we reach the half way point of our first digital exhibition of the year, Aspect: A particular mode of viewing, we bring you a video artwork from Maddy Thompson. This is a video in two parts, a conversation between two people. Watch this, and all the other video excerpts we have released so far, over on our Youtube channel.
I'm currently studying Fine Art, specifically looking at video and moving image. Most of my work is relatively abstract and expressive, with themes of dissociation from reality and dream-like states. Most of my work is introspective so I primarily film myself, and recently have been trying to move onward from just screen based pieces to artworks that incorporate an element of installation, in part inspired by the artist Pipilotti Rist.
My research mostly consists of watching films- especially those that are more experimental- and trying to understand how the director has framed a certain shot. In uncertain times, when it has become much more difficult to find the motivation to be creative, I have found it helpful to continue this practice and remember what I love about film-making.
At the moment my boyfriend and I are collaborating on a project that studies the power dynamic between artist and subject and using the restrictions of being in quarantine to work through ideas that we otherwise would not have time to. We hope to create a body of work that includes film, text and drawings that will all be digitised. The inspiration was in part from two films- ‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind’ directed by Michael Gondry, and ‘Coherence’ by James Ward Byrkit.
For the video excerpt I have shared for this exhibtion, I wanted to focus on the idea of a natural passing of time, and how we occupy ourselves, especially through idle chat with friends. Whilst the viewer sits and watches a conversation between two people, they, themselves become a part of it, but at the same time feel a level of disconnect and isolation. Watching the film becomes aimless, but still the same time entertaining. The viewer is in a different reality to those in the film, who sit and pass time talking, but in sitting and watching you are also passing your own time. It feels like a view of a moment that the spectator is not supposed to be observing.
One of my goals in creating the video was to manipulate the amount of time someone could sit and watch the video. They almost lose track of time in front of it, and in this way, it is quite different in comparison to pieces I have made before, which solely focused on the content of the film itself, rather than the viewer's experience. It was important to me to experiment with how the piece itself was set up: I wanted it to feel somewhere between installation and video. The viewer has a higher level of interaction with the piece and a different kind of experience with the film.
- Maddy Thompson