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Video installation: 4 LaserDisc videos transferred to DVD (colour, sound)
Dimensions: 48' 18" Variable dimensions
This work is a simultaneous video projection of four people filmed in their own homes reciting in playback, without much enthusiasm, one of the roles from the libretto of the opera Electra by Richard Strauss. Their fundamentally lethargic and bored emotional and physical states bear no relation to the role they are playing. There are no links of any kind between the characters: only the opera, perfectly synchronised with the image, offers an external space where they are connected. Their attitude, including their isolation, is in sharp contrast with the performance of the piece. With this unusual choreography, Taylor-Wood seeks to explore in depth the everyday paradoxes of the lives of the four protagonists, their contradictions and their difficult relationships with the outside world. She also aims to put to the test the famous effectiveness of the "social and psychological portrait". Thus, the work reproduces the "realist" style, imitating with irony the typical TV documentary shown on Channel 4 in Britain (stationary, front-on camera with long takes). In addition, she quotes, with a mischievous sideways glance, the film portraits (again with long takes and disgusted or sleepy characters) produced by Warhol's Factory between 1963 and 1968. Once she has got her takes, Taylor-Wood refuses to allow any possibility that they might approximate to the "truth" and contrasts them with the artificiality and spectacular nature of the text -opera- and above all with the manipulation of the space of the installation. The artist leaves the room in half-darkness, reminding us of the reality of our physical situation, and projects the images onto different walls, fragmenting the narrative and preventing us from identifying with the characters. Through these strategies, she manages to destroy the "realism" of the image, underlining the fiction of the media that she uses. In short, Taylor-Wood manages to confuse and make the beholder feel uncomfortable, and stimulates in us the physical and mental dislocation necessary for us to approach not only her work but reality as well.
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