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The Passenger or the search for identity (FW31)

Extracts from recordings for relating a tape/prose piece by Annabel Nicholson (1979)

Gill Eatherley
Extracts from recordings for relating a tape/prose piece by Annabel Nicholson (1979)

The first thing I remember of those expanded cinema days was the equipment and the projectors and all the hassles we used to have trying to set up four, five and six screens and trying to synchronise them. I remember one of the first shows we did was at Gallery House.

A projector bulb broke and we managed to weld it together and re-use it. A lot of the pieces we did were actually worked out in the space. We used to take it in turns to have an installation going. I think that generated a lot of energy and audience interest. You were there, you were out, instead of being hidden away in the projection box, you were down there with anyone who came into the gallery and you could talk to them.

Chair Installation I first did at Gallery House. I specifically made it for that show. Four chairs painted with
fluorescent white paint in a completely dark space, sitting more or less arbitrarily side by side, against a white wall. Up above were projected loops of these chairs, having been filmed in a situation with somebody walking amongst them. A  black figure which appears as a shadow, walking cutting out certain part of the chairs, so it looks like they are being  scrubbed out with a rubber as they are projected. At the  same time there is a strobe light flickering on and off in the space and the chairs are lit up with an ultraviolet light. All you see, in effect, are these white chairs floating in space,  because you cannot see the floor, with these loops projected  up above and an strobe light going on and off.

The interesting thing there for me was the idea of building up  something, starting from loops and bringing it off the screen down into the actual gallery situation and working with objects and movement. Then while it was going on I’d wear black and walk in amongst the chairs, the same way as the figure was
doing on the screen. It produced this curious sensation of chairs floating in space.