The Situation Envisaged (Video Art78)


Hall, David


  • Steve Partridge Curator and Festival Director for Video Art78. Marceline Mori (performer)

  • This work is part of the rewind archive.

    Year: 1978

    Original formats:

    1/2 inch EIAJ reel-to-reel

    Type of work:

    Multi screen Video Installation

    Funding source: Self

    First exhibited: Video '78, Herbert Art Gallery and Museum, Coventry 1978

    Technical details: Requirements: 8 identical TV sets, 1 monitor, 1 U-matic cassette or DVD player, custom-built curved plinth.

    ‘Eight domestic TV receivers are placed side by side at eye level on a wall-to-wall support in a quarter-circle across the corner of a room. Each is facing into the enclosed space and away from the viewer, and each is tuned to a different TV channel from the next. The viewer hears a cacophony of sound, and sees only an ever-changing projected glow beyond and above the line of TV sets. On approaching the installation, the screen of a video monitor is glimpsed through a small gap between each alternate set. It is playing a videotape, the content of which is difficult to decipher since the gap restricts the visual field to a narrow vertical section of the screen. The four possible viewpoints each offer a different segment – suggesting the assembly of coherent information only as the viewer moves from viewpoint to viewpoint. In doing so the tape time continuum is broken – expectations of a narrative progression are both implied and rejected – sometimes phasing by coincidence with the movement of the viewer, sometimes not. Fragments seen are of private ritual… The work confronts issues of power and the individual; the public and the private; the viewer and the viewed…’ – David Hall, 1978.

    A later version titled The Situation Envisaged II was exhibited at the Air Gallery, London in 1979.

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