24hr video installation with sound. 5m x 3m.
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A continuous, 24hr live feed of this work lives here in perpetuity.
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Remnant presents a continuous real-time, synchronised, twenty-four hour image of the empty and unmade bed where the artist’s father died in late 2014. His body lay for three days before being discovered. The video, together with a twenty-four hour unedited field recording of the remote and rural location, was captured in the days immediately prior. Nothing changes in the film except the light and the sound of the ambivalent natural surrounds.
The work considers place, the passing of time, personal history, and the experience of loss through death. It engages duration and exclusion as means to investigate the liminality of this shifting space. The video stream captures the changing of light that occurs in the room through the course of the three days whilst the body cooled and quieted, connecting the viewer to the space through the experience of real time. The sound component documents the continuing and unaltered sounds of the surrounding lands. Thus the work is the artist’s attempt to inhabit a space and time, forever made impossible.
As he has noted:
“The grieving process was bound up with feelings of exclusion. I was excluded from being present at the time of death, excluded from any opportunity to say goodbye prior to death, excluded both geographically from the site by a distance of a thousand kilometres, and temporally by the fifteen years that had elapsed since I had been a resident in my father’s house. The site of his death was formerly my childhood room, the bed was my childhood bed.”
Remnant I marks the first in a series of semi-related works approaching death and trauma from an archival and durational perspective. This exclusion is reflected in the dislocation between the site of death, the external streamed space, and the gallery site. The work is a live-streamed projection of the footage as it is being projected twenty-four hours a day in real-time in an anonymous, isolated space. While the gallery may only be open limited hours, the work continues on in this other space regardless, for the duration of the month.
On the anniversary of the three days the body was in situ the artist was present in the gallery during the work’s premier and seated in front of the work for six hours a day in a further attempt to inhabit this impossible space and time.
The accompanying piece Remnant II (forthcoming) is an almost identical replica of Remnant I, distinguished only by the elapsing of time. The shot is identical, though taken a year after Remnant I. It presents the same room, now repainted, clear of all furniture and bereft of any trace of it’s former inhabitant.