Leslie Thornton | U.S. | 2011 | 9m
Color | sound | HD video
“We do not look at things well. We see what we expect to see. We are told what we are seeing. In my work I use slippages in image and sound, I construct oddly motivated montage, I digress, and contradict—all in subtle ways so as to unsettle the viewer and provoke closer attention.”—Leslie Thornton
This invocation of a transcendent eye is central to both Twice Removed, and the gallery installation, Binocular Series, from which it is drawn. On the screen there are two circular fields; on the left, an animal appears—a bird, reptile, mammal, an insect—shot in a natural or artificial habitat, animals simply doing what they do. On the right, in the second circular field, is a synched abstraction derived from the image on the left. What is remarkable in the interaction between the “natural” and “abstract” images is that both interfere with and transform our reading and apprehension of the other. One sees, in the minute and rhythmic repetition in the abstract field on the right, that a bird is breathing, a snake blinking, or that a zebra is so still that it can look like a photograph, until there is a twitch of an ear. In Twice Removed, a carnivalesque soundtrack further estranges these split images of the animals, which appear embraced in an unspeakable realm of difference, images of a realm not ours to own.—Leslie Thornton
Screens as part of Virgin Springs.