Author: Gloriana Riggioni
Press Date: 3 Sep 2012
Stories are bigger than humans. It is like the humans live in stories… When you are part of a story, and you think of it that way, it is as if you are stepping outside of yourself when you hear it.
Magicians are dangerous manipulators. Maybe she was making these stories come to life by exploring them! – George Edwards.
If the prosaic concept of linear time was still at large, the year would be 3066. The world consists of an unrelenting stream of hologramatic projections onto the Hyperdensity, a kind of software that merges with the fabric of reality to facilitate the communication of image and sound, while at the same time ensuring the impossibility of their recording or reproduction. The reason: records of any kind would only perpetrate the delusion of a chronological order. It has been philosophically and scientifically ascertained that there is no past or future, only different dimensions of a single contemporaneity. Everything happens NOW, and continues to happen perpetually; to cling to the static record of an occurrence would therefore be dangerously unsettling, like the glimpse of an abyss.
‘Nowhere Less Now’ is a portal into this multidimensional contemporaneity: a notion as liberating as it is unsettling. Seers, a self professed perpetrator of our culture’s obsession with experiencing life through a lens by recording, cataloguing and then revisiting every single instant of our lives, leads us through archival and ancestral sources in an investigation of her paternal blood line.
The story of one George Edwards, naval officer at the turn of the 20th Century and the artist’s great great uncle, triggers the discovery of a long line of Georges and non-Georges with seemingly interconnected fates. Amongst them is the artist herself, and a certain George Edwards who claims to have transcended the inter-dimensional divide and to come from what we know as ‘the future’, to reveal that we shall be delivered from our consuming fixation.
Paradoxically, the narrative that emerges is meticulously recorded. Within the conceptual framework, this is a deliberate act of ‘stepping out of’ and objectifying her own story, so that in every sense it comes to represent as much a historical document as it does a fictional tale. Where one ends and the other begins is anyone’s guess, and depends on how much stock the viewer puts in the speculative strands of the story which are based on a series of uncanny and thoroughly absorbing coincidences.
Absorbing, that is, because they weave in and out of the viewer’s immediate reality, forming connections between the most far-fetched magical rituals, exotic lands, secret societies, and the very building the installation and the viewer inhabit. One has the notion of becoming part of something like the Never Ending Story, where a line of events, people, places and images whose connections to each other which, at first seems arbitrary, become irrevocably part of an overarching fabric that encompasses all things, including you and me. From this context, Seers’ story emerges as a strand that meanders freely through the fabric, pointing to larger existential and ontological realities by its mere presence.
Aptly enough, the installation consists of a large pair of lenses mounted one above the other, one convex one concave, onto which the fragmented story which Seers ‘steps out of’ is projected. Tales of seafaring folk with strangely multicoloured eyes and a corrugated iron church in Zanzibar, stride out of the screens and onto the more than half a century old upside down hull of a ship that decorates the inside of the Tin Tabernacle- another corrugated iron chapel, the presence of which in North London is as striking as it is unlikely.
Equally unlikely are the scientific theories that underline some of these connections: The notion that Heterochromia, the condition that causes a person to be born with eyes of different colours, can be caused by a strand of alien DNA in the body absorbed during gestation when one fraternal twin fuses into the other, seems like the stuff of science fiction, yet is, as it happens, true. So is the fact, one presumes, that the artist was led to some of the key evidence in her investigation by a fortune teller who told her to visit one of a pair of islands near Zanzibar known as ‘The Twins’.
A decidedly unique and immersive experience, ‘Nowhere Less Now’ challenges the sceptical mind to become open to the notion that human beings do not hold reality in the palm of their hands; that there are unseen machinations at large which only obtuse conservatism and lack of perception prevent them from observing.