Lucy Raven: Edge Of Tomorrow

Art, Digital and interactive Free
3 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars

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Two staggeringly bright eyes burn through you when you enter Lucy Raven’s show at the Serpentine. And that’s a potent visual metaphor, because this American video artist tries to look through and beyond the things around her, with a particular obsession with film. 

‘Casters’, this opening work, features two mega-wattage lamps searching senselessly around the space – casting spotlights for invisible actors. In the next room, Raven has cut together a maelstrom of film test cards into a strobing, stuttering riot: these are unseen moments, images that aren’t intended for consumer eyes. The central space of the gallery has been turned into a massive 3D cinema. The film in here features two versions of the same still images split across the screen – one red, one blue – slowly approaching each other and overlapping. It’s only when the two coloured photos are right on top of each other that the 3D pops into life and depth, a brief transitory moment of sense that’s quickly replaced again by the chaos of clashing geometry.

The rest of the show is less successful. Two more traditionally staged video pieces explore similar themes but simply don’t draw you in half as well.

But when Raven’s pieces really click into place, she manages to draw back a veil. She uncovers the in-between moments of film production, the mechanisations behind the imagery. She’s showing the means of film production, taking you behind the scenes with her. She’s a mythbuster, and if any myth needs busting, it’s Hollywood.

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