10 March 2010

Recording of a Red Car

Asta Lynge's latest work seems to explore surface as a medium in and of itself. In the example below she has recorded a red car, and through that questions traditional notions of surface: Is the surface your computer screen or projection-device? Is the surface the 16mm film that has been manually edited with a Steenbeck? Or is the surface that of 'a red car'?

Influenced by Structuralist films such as those of Len Lye, Asta's form of abstraction eventually permits a certain figuration but not before the concept of looking at something - content - in film has been subtly undermined. We see the grain of the film; sense the hand-held, irregular movement; observe out-of-focus elements; hear incidental noise - all before we 'see' the car, all in time for the significance of surface to well-and-truly surpass the notion of 'car'. Film as object in itself, spatial and temporal before it is suggestive of 'subject'.

The apparently abstract nature of Recording of a Red Car urges us to question film not only as a documentary tool but as a medium in itself, necessarily mediated screenally. It is this utter abstraction which can force upon the viewer, as she seeks the concrete, the sudden realisation that all we would see anyway is surface - whether that be of film, of screen or of car. Asta effectively neutralises subject, pointing resolutely to the film as an experience separate to subject-matter. An experience for she, behind the viewfinder, as much as for we, before the screen.

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