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Sky Light

Chris Welsby
16 mm
Six Screen Film Installation/ Expanded Cinema

Sky Light

This is the third in a series of six-projector gallery installations shot between 1976 and 1986. Each piece of work requires an identical situation in terms of equipment and space.

All three pieces explore the relationship between the gallery space and the perspective of the landscape. Shoreline deals with the horizon line between sea and sky, Shoreline II with the line of breakers between land and sea, and Sky Light with the perspective of a stormy sky.

All three installations establish a different relationship between chance-like elements, such as wave and cloud motion, and mechanically predictable elements, such as shooting and projection speed.

Sky Light introduces a large element of chance into the process of recording the imagery. By frequently starting and stopping the camera, a large number of flash frames were produced. The result is a six projector flicker film which not only represents a stormy cloudscape but also represents the rotation of the camera shutter and the process of recording itself. The flash frames work in opposition to the projected image of cloud and blue sky, illuminating the two dimensional surface of the gallery wall in staccato rhythm, which varies continuously as the projectors drift in and out of sync.

Sky Light emphasizes the potential violence and beauty of mechanistic structures and procedures, and combines this with the potential violence and beauty of natural phenomena. The footage was shot during the week following the Chernobyl explosion, when the sky carried messages for everyone. CW.

First exhibited at the Serpentine Gallery 1987.

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