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Descent

Ron Haselden
2003
10 mins Colour Video
Multiscreen video projection.

Descent

Ron Haselden working with John Berger

Texts and images progress through a short movie sequence across a number of adjoining screens. The texts and images attempt to integrate and progress in tandem.

Visual moments taken by a camera in a light aircraft as it descends from above the clouds at twilight to its landing in the dark at a small airport in Northern France.

Images start in the light airy domain above the clouds to gradually drop into the thick cloud below. The clouds turn colour though greys and blues to dark indigo and blacks. Eventually occasional pinpricks of light start to indicate the approach of land below. A brief glimpse of tarmac floodlighting confirms the arrival.

Descent is a collaborative work of video and texts. The video is of a routine flight from Guernsey to Brittany, the texts are excerpts from newspapers from some six months following 9/11. Just as the images represent only part of the flight, precisely sectioned off from the rise and fall of the flights space and time, the texts represent only elements of their journalistic origin, severely edited from the more contemporaneous flow of the daily press. At times, the images and texts offer alarmingly close correlation of depiction and description, at others they allow extreme divergence of illusion and allusion. Together, the images and texts construct a kind of mini-narrative with a nominal protagonist, a world of account and reflection at once both mundane and ominous.

John Berger works mainly in France and emails texts on a regular basis to recipients elsewhere. Ron Haselden also often works in France and constructs video and sculpture often in collaboration with others.

Shown in the "Sculpture of the Screen" programme. Curated by Karen Mizra and Brad Butler for 'Retrospective of Artist's Film and Video' Tate Britain. London. July 2003

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