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Southforeland

William Raban
2007

2 Screen Installation

Southforeland

51° 07.97'N / 001° 20.56'E

The installation plays on 2 opposing screens within an enclosed gallery space. The main frontal screen shows a time-lapse record that makes the 16 hours of early summer daylight pass in 3 minutes. Fog rolls in from the sea to obliterate the view and as the day progresses, the fog recedes and reforms so that sometimes it hangs close to the water with only the funnels of passing ships visible. The soundtrack to this screen is a score composed of ship foghorns by David Cunningham that plays in the installation space on a stereo speaker system.

Opposing the frontal projection (behind the audience) is a video monitor showing the rotating radar scanner used by Dover Coastguard to control shipping movements in the English Channel. This smaller screen contains its own soundtrack recorded from the whirring bearings of the radar scanner. The overall effect of the combined soundscape in the gallery produces a continuous low whining drone from the scanner that is pierced at moments by the deeper notes of ship foghorns emanating from the frontal screen.

The audience will be confronted initially by the beauty of a land and seascape image that obliterates and reforms as the fog envelops and then recedes from the frame. This classically composed picture is offset by the constantly rotating radar scanner with its sinister overtones of control and surveillance.

Premiered at Box Gallery, Ostend.

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