15 January – 2 March 2003
For his first exhibition at Matt’s Gallery, Gary Stevens will present a five-screen video installation with sound. Slow Life has developed from Stevens’ live performance work, in particular from the performance/ installation And, where ordinary action is repeated and fragmented. In Slow Life, momentary encounters between the performers are extended and held to become intimate exchanges.
The unbroken, real-time shots of domestic scenes explore innocuous, seemingly insignificant events. Everyday incidents are played very slowly. The consciousness of each performer escapes the intention of their slow action. As the nuances change in the slowly shifting picture, the subtle inference of relationships and situations is constantly modified. There is an acute awareness of being alive, of horror and of wonder. Elements within the picture – a fire, running water – are reminders that time has not slowed down. Unlike a fixed image that arrests and holds onto a moment, here moments inexorably slip by.
The performers’ sense of awkwardness and isolation alerts the viewer to the imperfect stillness. Sounds from the video images invade the space to create an uneasy sense of instability. The movement produces inadvertent and painful noises of creaking, cracking floorboards and furniture in the performers attempt to be silent.
Credits: Lighting and camera Paul Bush, David Gopsill and Martin Jones; Sound Graeme Miller; Original sound recording Kate Tierney
Performed by Phyllida Barlow, Fabian Peake, Florence Peake, Clover Peake, Edward Peake; Brain Catling and Sarah Simblet; Martin Jones and Emma Bernard; Julian Maynard Smith and Gary Stevens; Mark Wayman, Rosie Thwaites and Rachel Gomme.
There will be two live performances by Gary Stevens with guests on Sunday 19 January and Sunday 23 February at 6.30pm. Performances will be held at Matt’s Gallery and are free. Each event will comprise different experimental sketches related to Slow Life.