Author: Nicolas Bourriaud
Publication: Tate Channel
Press Date: 2009
Video: Tate Triennial 2009: Altermodern – Lindsay Seers
Nicolas Bourriaud on Lindsay Seers, 03.02.2009
About Lindsay Seers: Born 1966, Mauritius. Lives and works: London, UKPhotography and what it signifies are the underlying themes of Lindsay Seers' work. She is engrossed by the conceptual and philosophical questions raised by the medium that relate to truth, imagination, memory and history.
Extramission 6 (Black Maria) 2009 is a quasi-documentary on Seers' life as an artist in which we learn that as a child she did not speak. This silence was possibly caused by a condition called eidetic memory (photographic memory). Seers first spoke at the age of eight when she saw a photograph of herself, asking: 'Is that me?' Her eidetic memory faded with the onset of language. This traumatic loss of her memory led her to 'become' a camera; she started forming images by inserting pieces of light-sensitive paper into her mouth and using her lips as the aperture and shutter. This passive process of 'ingesting' the world occupied her for many years. Eventually, however, she gave up her life as a camera to 'become' a projector emitting images in an act of extramission.The projection of the DVD work is embedded in a cardboard model of 'Black Maria', Thomas Edison's first film production studio built in 1893. The building heralds a decisive moment in the development of photography into film. This work is the latest version of an installation that is reconfigured each time it is exhibited. It evades the boundaries that are traditionally set up between fact and fiction by asserting that the photographic medium collapses them, so that through the lens we reach a place where there is neither fact nor fiction.