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A Situation Envisaged: The Rite II (Cultural Eclipse)

David Hall
1988/90

Multi-screen video installation

A Situation Envisaged: The Rite II (Cultural Eclipse)

In this, the third installation in the Situation Envisaged series, 15 monitors are built as a single block close to a wall. All but one face the wall and are not seen.

TV broadcasts reflected on the wall form an aurora of changing light. In the centre, on the only screen to be seen, is a 30 line image of the moon shot on a 'camera'/scanner identical to that first used by John Logie Baird in the 1920s. The sound (by David Cunningham) is derived from multiple broadcast channels, and composed as a musical score.

'In formal terms, A Situation Envisaged is.. striking in its prescient re-interpretation of both the Minimalist sculpture of the 1960s, of which Hall was a part, and the post-Minimalist artistic hybridity of the 1970s, which he helped to create... Revisited, Hall's video sculpture, made during a theatrical, metaphorical period in the history of video installation, stands out as a strongly conceptual work...'
Chrissie Iles, 'A Situation Revisited - David Hall: A Situation Envisaged: The Rite II (Cultural Eclipse)', Factor 1989, FACT, Liverpool, 2001.

'If meaningless is the quality of TV, not of [this] work, then the work's reproduction of meaninglessness is itself an act of signification, one with a genuine referent in the shape of the broadcasts which it replays. Meanwhile, if the monitors don't provide us with meanings, we will provide them ourselves: the aurora of light as smoke, as solar eclipse, as the specific palette of the electronic painter; the monitors as the black pillar of Kubrick's 2001, as a prison in which we keep our images, as the night sky against which the moon shines...'
Sean Cubitt, Videography: Video Media in Art and Culture, Macmillan, 1993.

First shown at Video Positive '89, Tate Gallery, Liverpool 1989 and later at Signs of the Times, Museum of Modern Art, Oxford 1990, and Signes des Temps, Centre d'Art Contemporain, La Ferme du Buisson, Paris 1993/94.

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