Persistence of Vision

FACT, Wood Street
18th June – 30th August 2010

Reviewed by Charles McIntyre

The latest exhibition at FACT explores the notion that visual perception and memory are increasingly intertwined with media technology.

Particularly effective in illustrating this concept is the Stalker installation, a square unit of white corridors with floor-to-ceiling mirrors in each corner. The disorienting task of chasing reflections of your back around every turn in hope of finding your face-on reflection is certainly unnerving, and successfully distorts rational visual memory. The piece - conceived by AVPD - mimics the manipulation of self representation that occurs when using image and media technology.

Another installation which focuses on this concept is Mizuki Watanabe’s In-Between Gaze, in which an out of focus projection is brought into focus by the viewer using a magnifying glass in front of the lens piece – by which they themselves are projected onto the film.

The most compelling work at the exhibition has to be Lindsey Seers’ It has to be this way, which tells the story of Seer’s stepsister, who lost her memory following a road accident. The video piece is projected inside a ‘memory theatre’, where two circular screens act as eyes peering into - and out of - memory. The film is narrated by the woman's ex-partner, who is unsettlingly honest in recounting the events surrounding her loss of identity. Interestingly, she became fixated with photographs in her quest for memory, and this reinforces the notion of memory being shaped by media.

Included in the collection is a plethora of smaller pieces, from photographs and models to interactive touchscreen games.

For the quality and depth of its pieces, Persistence of Vision has to be one of the gallery’s most striking and thought-provoking exhibitions to date.

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