Materials: Cardboard and wooden structure, 22 minute DVD projection with 5.1 surround sound onto two masked MDF circular screens on mobile TV arms, monitor with headphones embedded in structure wall, free novel to take away.
Lindsay Seers' work is concerned with photography, a seemingly innocent medium which saturates our daily lives but which she believes is an underestimated, powerful tool which alters human consciousness. She is interested in how photography affects experience. Emerging from a tradition of conceptual and structuralist ideas in art photography, Seers is concerned with the act of photographing. Her embodied use of cameras alters the objective mechanism of the camera into an anthropomorphised extension of her experiences.
The formal constraints of structuralism (epitomised in work such as John Hilliard’s Sixty Seconds of Light 1970) inform her work but disintergrate as her cameras become adjuncts to narratives of which form is only one of the elements. The condition and means of recording is to her always contingent on a narrative; either the narrative of the act of her photographing, which is entwined with a set of formal rules drawn from a personal biography, or a wider historical impulse derived from the cultural forces that inspire the photographic act.
An example of one of her methods in her current work which epitomises these ideas is her use of the finding of dead bees which instigates a new direction for the work, based on the moment in which they are found. The use of the bees themselves relates to an image on the front of a Queen Christina manuscript studied by her missing stepsister. These eccentric methods allow her to follow a path that continues to evolve but in which it seems that everything is always connected. These motivations between structure and biography have resulted in her becoming a human camera, a photographic ventriloquist, a projector, and now a colonialist lens.
Her attitude towards photography strays from the standard modernist canon as she draws influence from metaphysical philosophy (Neoplatonism, Renaissance alchemy and Bergson). She treats the medium as something which amasses meanings rather than acting as a document – it is productive rather than depictive.
The structures which house her installations, the novels, monitor works and projections, are all mutually dependent and form a total work. The parts evolve simultaneously – so that the novel is not derived from the film – or the film from the novel. The viewing place here is not a neutral/invisible box but it encases the viewer into the architecture of the plot. In this case (It has to be this way1) it is a hybrid theatre and cinema. This theatrical staging of the work calls into question the nature of the art work as a false simulation – the fort is a large cardboard model – perhaps ultimately suggesting that a stage rather than signifying artifice is an arena in which one can find something essential. In this work it is through the ‘act’ of using the lens that one can make apparent something through affect which would otherwise be invisible.