Judy Radul

7 September–6 Octo­ber 2007

Judy Radul

This exhi­bi­tion debuted Radul’s sin­gle chan­nel pro­jec­tion work enti­tled Describe Video along­side Five Pieces of Rela­tion, which pre­miered at Art Basel Miami Beach in 2006, and a third work, enti­tled Con­crete Objects.

Known inter­na­tion­ally for her rig­or­ous media-based prac­tice, Radul employs video and instal­la­tion works, per­for­mances, read­ings and the­o­ret­i­cal writ­ing to engage philo­soph­i­cal ques­tions that relate to the con­cerns of performance-based work. An ongo­ing sub­ject in her prac­tice is the ques­tion of being “live” and how this relates to ani­mat­ed­ness. In sev­eral recent works Radul has explored how cer­tain tech­nolo­gies force dif­fer­ent states of being into the fore­ground of perception.

Fol­low­ing up Radul’s recent five-channel instal­la­tion Downes Point (2005), the work Describe Video presents a med­i­ta­tion on how the cam­era func­tions. In this short nar­ra­tive single-channel pro­jec­tion work, two blind actors play the roles of sighted char­ac­ters. Using a cin­e­matic mode of shoot­ing and pre­sen­ta­tion, Radul applies tricks such as eye-line match­ing and shot, reverse shot edit­ing to con­nect the gazes of the pro­tag­o­nists with each other and with what they are look­ing at. One idea pro­posed in the piece is the way in which con­ven­tional cam­er­a­work (such as used in tele­vi­sion and Hol­ly­wood cin­ema) relies upon cam­era iden­ti­fi­ca­tion to bring the viewer to the point of view of the char­ac­ters. In Describe Video, this func­tions to explain the story by at least par­tially over­look­ing its sub­jects. The blind­ness of the actors stands in for the real blind spot exposed in the work—the camera’s focus on sight as the prin­ci­ple means of relating.

Under­ly­ing all that occurs in the visual track is a sound­track that car­ries dia­logue, ambi­ent sounds and music. Over this, an addi­tional “described video” audio track attempts to trans­late visual infor­ma­tion into spo­ken words. Each of the work’s descrip­tive sys­tems is explored for its lim­i­ta­tions; the con­tra­dic­tions and con­ti­nu­ities between them sug­gest greater par­tial­i­ties that call into ques­tion the cin­e­matic assign­ing of causal­ity and sys­tems of relation.

Dis­played over live feed footage in the exhi­bi­tion space, the sequence of super­im­posed titles in Radul’s work Con­crete Objects (2002–2007) con­sists of all of the exam­ples that Merleau-Ponty used to illus­trate his 1945 essay “The Thing and the Nat­ural World.” Car­ry­ing on the thread of con­ti­nu­ity and response, Five Pieces of Rela­tion is com­posed of four stu­dio mon­i­tor and dvd setups, a speaker, three audio tracks, two sets of head­phones and a teleprompter. Through a cir­cuit of visual and audi­tory com­po­nents, Five Pieces of Rela­tion turns on the ques­tion of what it is to respond—and how this con­sti­tutes human beings as some­thing other and beyond non-human animals.

For fur­ther infor­ma­tion or press enquires please con­tact Catri­ona Jef­fries or Anne Low at +1 604 736 1554.