Stati d’Animo/60 Seconds/07

Merilyn Fairskye, Stati d’Animo/60 Seconds/07, still from single-channel video installation, Courtsey Stills Gallery

Stati d’Animo/60 Seconds/07

Dates: 9 March – 21 April 2007

Opening: Thursday 8 March, 6-8pm

Artist: Merilyn Fairskye

Stati d’Animo/60 Seconds/07 is a video installation that invokes the trilogy of paintings (1911) by the Futurist artist Umberto Boccioni.

Stati d’Animo/60 Seconds/07 is a Single-channel video installation. It invokes the trilogy of paintings (1911) by the Futurist artist Umberto Boccioni that addressed the mixture of dynamism, chaos, and anxiety of travellers and those who stay behind in the modern city of the early 20th century. The international airport replaces Boccioni’s railway station as the principal site of human movement - a technological zone of passage in which people suspend their usual lives, a place where they experience a heightened mix of emotions, and where they recall other lives in other places.

This work has been created from an archive of material shot on the fly at Charles de Gaulle, Darwin, Dubai, Frankfurt, Helsinki, Hong Kong, JFK, Kuala Lumpur, Los Angeles, Shanghai, Singapore, Sofia, Sao Paulo, Sydney and Vienna airports throughout 2004-2005. Airports and their environs are monitored to create a sense of place that is layered with shadows, echoes and reflections. People inhabit this space provisionally. Anonymous figures rush past on their way to departure or arrival gates, to immigration, to baggage areas, lost in space and thought. Transient bodies dissolve in time and space.

The formation of the images in this work is different from conventional film and photography. It closely resembles the sequenced exposures of chronophotography by Jules Etienne Marey which (like Henri Bergson’s reflections on time) inspired the painterly experiments of the Futurists that this work evokes. The effect is to condense and dilate the experience of time, by superimposing a sequence of frames in fifty transparent layers. The cinematic division of time into discrete frames is dissolved into the sensation of duration within the image. In this work the ‘present’ is thus continuous (and coexistent) with the past, in a perpetual state of becoming and vanishing, in the same way as the people who briefly inhabit the airport, and the airspace above it, become, and vanish.

Courtesy Stills Gallery, Sydney