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Layla Curtis: Revolver Part 1: Tong Tana 5–23 September 2012 | Artist’s Website

Layla Curtis | Revolver Part 1: Tong Tana | 5–23 September 2012 | Private View: Sunday 2 September 2–5pm | view REVOLVER Part 1
Layla Curtis, Tong Tana, 2012
Layla Curtis, Tong Tana, 2012. Video still courtesy the artist.

Layla Curtis, Tong Tana, 2012
Curtis’s work has a focus on mapping and the ways we represent terrain and locate ourselves and our movements through space. Previous projects include collages made of maps; drawings produced through the use of computers and satellite GPS technology whilst in Antarctica with the British Antarctic Survey; and video work made with parkour practitioners from London.

Layla Curtis spent four weeks in the rainforests of Borneo with the semi-nomadic Penan – one of the last surviving hunter-gatherer tribes in South-East Asia and acknowledged masters of tracking and hunting.

Her intention was to obtain point of view (POV) video footage of a Penan hunter’s solo journey with blowpipe and poisoned darts through dense jungle near Ba Jawi, one of Borneo’s last remaining pristine rainforest wildernesses. A Penan hunter agreed to go out with a head mounted camera as well as binaural microphones – designed to accurately record sound as experienced by the human ear – and the resultant recordings provide the material for this project.

I aim to place the viewer in the centre of the action and thus experience the journey from point-of-view of the protagonist. I aim to create a heightened sensory experience for the viewer and create an immersive viewing experience within the gallery space. Each of the films will comprise of a single take of POV footage – the content and pace of which will be entirely dependent on the self-determined course of the hunter.
  — Layla Curtis

Tong Tana is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.

The artist would like to thank The Penan of the Upper Baram River, Sarawak, Borneo for their generosity and hospitality. In particular special thanks to Misa, Dennis and Sia. Thanks also to Lukas Fort and Craig Vear for all their continued support and advice and to Maxwell Clark, Tom Hewitt, Mike Prior-Jones, Gennie Rose and Peter Sercombe. Tong Tana was sound mastered by Craig Vear.

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