Imagine being lost in transit, stuck in an odd place together with a guy named Barry. He’s more of the silent type but once he gets going, it’s hard to stop her. She will speak about the future, the past and the place she is from, in ways which aren’t that easy to comprehend. She talks in images, allusions and ciphers. Sometimes she gesticulates so intensely that her gestures seem like they are part of a ballet of sorts. Conversing with Barry becomes like performing some kind of choreography together. After a while there are moments when you feel you catch his drift and get his jokes. Was he even joking? With Barry it’s difficult to tell. But there are some things you have in common: you both love Hitchcock and you’d do anything to leave this place behind. So you go, you travel with Barry to magical and mysterious places. Other times you just go for coffee or a walk in the park. The exact nature of your travels is difficult to describe. You might say, they feel a bit like two years at an art school and one exhibition.
Edward Clydesdale Thomson’s recent work has been concerned with the different ways visual stages are constructed. He has researched a variety of sites – including zoos, ornamental gardens, peep shows and various architectural tableaus – and has investigated the logic each employs to direct the viewer’s attention or to confirm the viewer’s preconception of what they might expect to see. At times the camera is an appropriate tool to investigate how these spaces perform, or how these technologies of observation are constructed, at other times their subtle machinery unfolds in speech or text which allows Thomson to occupy his own particular space within the systems he explores.
Text: Steve Rushton and Jan Verwoert
Curated by Curated by Jan Verwoert & Bernd Krauß for the masters fine art programme at the Piet Zwart Institute.
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