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After Duchamp Installation

William Raban
2003
Continuous Colour 16mm
3 screen

After Duchamp Installation

After Duchamp reconstructs Marcel Duchamp's painting of 1912: Nude Descending a Staircase No.2.

The nude is at least partially de-eroticised by its being reconfigured as a repetitive pattern of overlapping abstract forms. A naked female figure was filmed simultaneously from three positions, descending an open iron spiral staircase at the 291 Gallery in Hackney Road. The three film loops were projected back onto the staircase and the walls immediately behind it at a presentation in January 2003. Although, like Pink Trousers, it was shot and projected back in the same way onto the same location, difference between shooting and projecting, largely to do with the direction of travel of light, create a complex interplay of shadow, image, flicker and point of view. The film was shot in strobe light, so that each image flashes on and off. This creates interactions and phase shifts between the three projections, in addition to the more subtle shifts between the projectors that are intrinsic to their normal function of projecting images intermittently twenty four times per second. In being illuminated by the projector light, the stair case reflects fragments of image back to the spectator, but also masks parts of the image by casting shadows onto the wall behind. Thus the work can be seen as an interaction between a given architectural feature and its cinematic re-presentation, in which film and feature are both illuminated and obscured, while the image of the figure is continuously deformed and re-described, its movements fragmented and reconstructed. The voyeuristic potential of the experience, the hypostatisation of the figure, is simultaneously instigated and refused.
Nicky Hamlyn, 'Site Specificity in Film and Video Installation', Experiments in the Moving Image 2004.

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