Skip to main content
Lux OnlineHomeThemesArtistsWorkEducationEducationToursHelpSearch
Luxonline
Artists Artist's home pageArtists essay index page
Clive GillmanClick here to Print this Page
David Critchley
For the Serpentine show Critchley exhibited a three-channel work entitled Yet Another Triangle.

This work, which was re-made specifically for the show (due to technical incompatibilities between the original production equipment and the exhibition equipment used for the show) has been described by Critchley as his first specific video piece. Prior to this he was actively using video, but usually as an adjunct to the performance work that remained a parallel thread in his practice. Working directly with the functionality of the videotape recorder and the relative restrictions upon editing that characterised the technology of the time, this work demonstrates some of the first explorations of an approach that he later describes in the catalogue for the 'Video Art 78' show at the Herbert Art Gallery in Coventry ; "In videotape I found the ideal medium to alter time structures, easily being able to recall a previous action and pose it in relation to a subsequent related or unrelated action, which would alter the meaning of either statement. It also allows an action to be reprocessed by the medium to point properties or anomalies inherent in the medium. In a sense, my work with straightforward tape making has been mechanical and didactic, looking at the medium for the properties that differentiate it from other media and from 'life'".

The record-stop-rewind-replay mechanism that lies at the heart of all videotape recording formed an instrumental motif for much of the early work of Critchley, often layering visual imagery and spoken text in the same way that earlier experiments in audio had allowed the concept of multi-tracking to evolve. This layering formed the core around which a systematic analysis of the materiality of the medium was played out. In the piece Static Acceleration from 1976, the artist's head snaps from side to side across the screen in a slowly accelerating rhythm. The original videotaped sequence is then re-shot from a monitor screen a number of (times, while each time being played back in the crude slow-motion of the time, progressively decelerating the movement into a series of blurs. David Hall, writing in Studio International in 1977 describes this piece as a work which "simply, yet admirably, combines and manipulates time and fundamental aspects of the process in a carefully considered work only possible in, and about, video."

Go to top of                             page
HomeThemesArtistsWorkEducationEducationToursHelpSearch