11 – 27 August 2000
Radiant Fields is Anne Bean’s first exhibition for Matt’s Gallery, and marks her return to working with video after twenty years. Anne is known primarily for her performance work; since the early seventies she has undertaken numerous solo and collaborative performances worldwide.
Radiant Fields originated with concerns the artist had as a young child - a sense that somehow ones’ eyes were inadequate, their spectrum and physiology too restricted, to embrace the unseen presences of which one was constantly aware. A similar dissatisfaction infiltrated her art as a young teenager where painting as a process seemed vibrantly alive and pungent, but as a finished product seemed to deflate, or die in front of her. She wrote passionately about these concerns at the time, trying to explore a way of capturing a sense of being in the process of painting. Almost imperceptibly Bean’s paintings became sculptures and installations, which in turn became process and performance, and finally contained the fulfilment painting had lacked for her. Radiant Fields looks at this ‘dialogue’ with painting that led Bean into process-based work. The artist has also incorporated texts from her early writings dealing with these concerns, which had been written consciously to a future self. The work, in one sense, is a reply back through time.
Radiant Fields is a new performance work composed of three videos projected onto three constructed screen walls. On entering the gallery the visitor will be visually and aurally surrounded as in a live event. The piece employs high-resolution thermal imaging mixed in with digital video material of the artist and other performers, these were then edited to form a triptych of interlocking and sequential images. It is the complex and textural intertwining of these images, performances, spoken texts and music that invoke an unseen presence - the hidden phenomena and energy fields of parallel universes. It questions our assumptions about the way we see the world - that our senses are in some way ‘absolute’ and it allows both literally and metaphorically a world of fluid, flowing particles where sound and touch can be ‘seen’, and where even in complete darkness the visual world explodes in vibrant colour. Radiant Fields represents a filmic aesthetic exploration of new technologies as an enabling tool to examine the nature of human perception of the natural world.
Radiant Fields was filmed in 1997 by William Raban and Begonia Tamarit. The performers include: Tabla player Ansuman Biswas; drummers Paul Burwell and Dean Roderix; singer Mary Genis; 8 year old southern Indian dancer Swarup Menon; 6 year old writer Ezra Rubenstein and 5 year old Alethea Raban. The work was produced by on-line editor Alistair Kerr and sound engineer Daniel O’Shea.
The project originated with an I.C.A. Toshiba New Technology Award (1997), was supplemented by an Arts Council Combined Arts Award (1998) and with sponsorship from Agema Infrared Systems.