''As it was this morning, and yesterday'
Solo Show with Creekside Artists
‘The Opposite of Fresh Air’, 2020
Single Channel Video
24 Minutes, Mono, SD, Front Projection
‘The Opposite of Fresh Air’ has been created by utilising a 360 virtual tour of Great Ormond Street Hospital for children, taken/altered from youtube. In the film the artist manipulates the interactive element of the video tour, slowing the footage and moving the camera to create a glitch when pointed down, this glitch creates a blurred circle that sits in the centre of the screen; covering, concealing and containing parts of the hospital's surroundings. By referencing residual vision spots that appear when you stare at a bright source of light for too long, the artist is challenging the notion of an after-image in relation to memory and its malleability. The sound throughout is a biographical voiceover, the voice not being the artist's own, in order to create yet another disparate barrier between the voices behind personal memories, one singular voice in the written text/subtitles, against the audible voice, providing narration. This voiceover describes various happenings the artist remembers (or is trying to) from yearly visits to this hospital as a child where he dealt with a condition called ‘Posterior Urethral Valves’. The anecdotal accents include; leaving a cul-de-sac by car, to arriving in Holborn, from confronting sanitised surfaces and smells, to details of consultations and ultrasound scans. Additionally there are two instances in which the voice will describe technical and scientific details of vision, and ultrasound materials. The final frames of the film display Queen Annes Walk, a passage that leads away from the hospital to where the car would usually be parked, a memory for the artist that signified the day's end. Whilst there are no direct visual depictions of trauma, the artist is highlighting specific emotional memories that are in turn, being ‘re-remembered’. This is an investigation into how memories (of objects, smells, surfaces) can be re activated and re positioned into a relative and present context. Much like the act of attempting to visualise a past moment in time, various parts of the hospital equipment (tables, floors, medical equipment) are blurred one moment, and clearly visible the next.
“If you stare at a bright source of light for too long, residual spots or patches will appear in your vision, these are often described as ‘after-images’. Within the systematics of your vision exist millions of photoreceptors that are shared across the different parts of your eye, more specifically, the part of the eye we use most to process an image is called the macula. When the photoreceptors inside the macula have too much information to process, or information that is of considerable intensity, once fired, they need time to adjust/play a game of catch-up with your brain, thus, creating an after-image”
“Ultrasound gel is a conductive medium that creates a bond between the skin and the ultrasound transducer. The ultrasound sound waves have a hard time traveling through air, so the gel prevents any extra air space between the probe and your skin in order to create a clear image”