Dual screen performance installation and single screen film

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“Countless layers of ideas, images, feelings have fallen successively on your brain as softly as light.
It seems that each buries the preceding, but none has really perished”
Charles Beaudelaire

Portrait in time and gesture is a video installation which looks at the shifting presence of identity over time. The work has been presented in two versions: as single screen ‘double exposure’ film and as a ‘triple exposure’ live installation where front and back images are projected and the middle presence is live.

Portrait gesturally explores the displacement of what is generally called identity over an individual’s history. Reflecting on the photographic portrait, which traditionally offers a ‘definitive’ identitary representation, Portrait looks at identitary inconsistency over time, by creating a body that is at once separating and re-uniting with itself.


Visual inspiration, notions of a portrait

Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863-1944), a Russian chemist fascinated with photography, produced well ahead of his time a photographic technique in order for images to be captured in black and white on glass plate negatives, using red, green and blue filters. He then presented these images in color employing slides that used a light-projection system involving the same three filters’. A single, narrow glass plate about 3 inches wide by 9 inches long was placed vertically into the camera. He then photographed the same scene three times in fairly rapid sequence using three different filters.

I was interested in Mikhailovich’s use of plates as a technique of ‘triple exposure’ which pretends to capture the same moment at three discreet points in time. In his case to render photographic colour possible. My intention in Portrait is to reveal those three distinct moments so as to expose the uniqueness of each and every live second, therefore expanding the concept of portraiture by inviting an experience of oscillation.

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Artist filmmaker: Isabel Rocamora
Choreographer: Isabel Rocamora
Performer: Tilly Leyser
Technical assistant: Al Livingstone

Produced by: Infinito Productions
Commissioned by: Signals Media, dance.tech
Funded by: Arts Council England