Materials: Camera obscura in cast iron and fabric with papier mache trees, fan; large scale mouth photographs.
For the Dead Travel Fast is a camera obscura/carriage, which looks out onto a constructed landscape of white paper trees. The viewer is given two very different versions of the work, one as object and the other image. The image is inverted and feint captured on a screen shaped like a small window in the interior wall of the darkened carriage wall. The walls of the victorian gallery itself are painted dark grey so the camera obscura image gives the impression of being in black and white, that is until a visitor lumbers through the scene like a giant upside down – a spectre from the future in an image that feels like it emerges from the past – or from a dream…There is a sense of the uncanny as the trees, which spread out physically like a 'cone of a projection' – growing larger as they become more distant from the lens, sway in the air but this reads as unnatural because the lens has turned them around so gravity appears to be working in the wrong direction.
The title and subject of the work refers to Murnau's early black and white film, Nosferatu (the title a quote from Bram Stoker's Dracula) in which as the carriage in Transylvannia enters the forest on the way to Dracula's castle Murnau switches the film to a ghostly negative turning the trees white against a black sky.
The large red mouth camera photo works are also a kind of vampirism. In vampirism the life is sucked from the victim and she/he becomes undead – seemingly present but eternally absent. This is a metaphor for the translation of an object into an image; a husk without substance. The photographer using her mouth as the camera produces images always fogged with the light passing through the blood of her cheeks – literally blood coloured – and merely spectural they stand outside of usual flow of time.