Nancy Davenport -  Still from Workers (leaving the factory)Workers (leaving the factory)

Nancy Davenport
Open Eye Gallery, Wood Street
20th September - 20th November 2008

Reviewed by Anthony Swords

At last, a car chase at the Biennial!

Nancy Davenport’s high speed car journey through the streets of Liverpool and arriving at the Halewood car plant, is a newly commissioned piece that sits alongside her 2004 Workers.

Workers is a blend of photography, moving image and graphics that creates a strange, photo-realist effect to the images which fuses the dreary factory environment with an element of fantasy. The slow tracking shots, looped across several monitors, convey the sense of repetition to the workers’ occupation but I am not sure how well Davenport conveys her aim ‘that to search for reality we must not look beyond but within fantasy and illusion’.

The newly commissioned film is therefore an oddity next to the photo images. Apparently inspired by two seventies films - one by Godard and another by Lelouch, neither of which I have seen - is at least an exhilarating piece of video art that zooms along Liverpool’s backstreets and through the car plant. It is possible to name any number of car sequences that it may remind you of, but then to claim inspiration from Raising Arizona probably wouldn’t carry as much cache as Godard.

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