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Katherine Meynell
A suite of works produced in the late 1980s developed out of Meynell's engagement with reclamations and domestications of classical mythology.

Her Gaze (two-monitor installation,1988), Medusa (20 minute film commissioned by the BFI New Directors Scheme, music composed by Sylvia Hallett, 1988) and Moonrise (three source video wall produced for Video Positive, 1988) various figures are characterised in an archly formal style. Medusa in particular, made for public broadcast, displayed an actorly performativity, influenced by experimental theatre with its narrative loops and reliance on the legibility of still objects and images in juxtaposition. Moonrise played more loosely with this heavy signification, leaving the viewer to make connections between the characters on the screens - a man asleep as the moon rises over him; a child/mermaid; a bearded lady juggling with knives and pomegranates and surrounded by a ring of fire.

In As She Opened Her Eyes She Looked Over Her Shoulder and Saw Someone Passing the Other Side of the Doorway with a Strange Smile (10 minute film for BBC Scotland, 1990) Meynell takes stock characters from the lexicon of alternative feminist and circus imagery (a ballerina wearing work boots, an Edwardian 'neurotic' played by Daniella Nardini and Janet Beat playing a blown electroacoustic keyboard) and places them in the restriction of a stately home, from which they break free to drink whiskey and concoct magic in the back of a van in the highlands. The images, once again loaded symbolically, struggle to escape the constraints of televisual narrative. The characters move between overtly staged performance and moments of conspiracy in which they contemplate each other performing performance, allowing us into the game of fiction that they are constructing. In Eat (Kettle's Yard, 1992), similar concepts of femininity and displacement take a looser form. In a large video projection a young girl skips over and picks at a table of food, its contents revealed in detail on five video monitors to be redolent of cultural suppressions of maternal and childhood sexuality (fish, milk, raw sausages and black cherries, etc.). In the companion piece Vampire S Eat the seat of a domestic chair contains a small monitor on which a tongue, in close-up, licks the surface glass, blood mixing with saliva.

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