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Flight

Guy Sherwin
1998
4mins black & white sound 16mm

Flight

A bird in a tree in a film balanced between stillness and flight.

Flight is a four-minute work made from a tiny fragment of film of pigeons, semi-silhouetted in trees, shot with a long lens.

The imagery has been slowed-down and sometimes stopped, using an optical printer to rework the original fragment. The effect of this is that a bird, frozen in the act of taking off from a branch, disappears. This is nothing to do with camouflage, but is a function of the way a frozen blur of a bird effectively becomes part of the surrounding foliage: what appears are alterations to the foliage, not a frozen bird against a frozen background.

As movement is returned it is still unclear whether it is the bird's flapping wings or the wind in the trees. Thus we are invited to consider how the visual field may be full of such disappearances and ambiguities, spurious phenomena to which we are generally blind because our world is held together by an intuitive sense of the continuity and completeness of vision.
Nicky Hamlyn. Coil Magazine Nov 2000

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