Much of our interaction with the world is now mediated via a screen – be it phone, tablet, computer, TV or cinema. But how often do we consider how this influences what we think we're seeing, in terms of whether it's fact or fiction, reflection or deception? This succinct grouping of film and video by seven international artists, a collaboration between Tate and Contemporary Image Collective Cairo, highlights some of the ways in which film can affect our perceptive processes.
Shown several times before in London, Lars Laumann's 'Morrissey Foretelling the Death of Diana' (2006), uses an online conspiracy theory as the basis for a narrative, accompanied by a montage of film clips that constructs a compelling argument as to how the tracks from The Smiths's 1986 album 'The Queen is Dead' predicted the death in 1997 of Diana Princess of Wales. This form of associative musing has become increasingly popular with artists – Patricia Esquivias also uses it here in her 2008 work,'Folklore II' – but Laumann still demonstrates best how film in particular lends itself to convincingly communicating even the most far-fetched of ideas.
Elsewhere, Manon de Boer's 'Dissonant', 2010, showing a solo performer dancing to a piece of music she is hearing only from memory and which periodically fades to black, reinforces the fact that a film is often not one linear sequence but a series of edited sequences. Ján Mancuska's video, 'A Middle Aged Woman' (2009), emphasises a similar process – of how the brain will join gaps left in a piece of text, in order to find meaning. Not all the works are quite so focused, but overall this show drives home the message that, on a screen, one should never assume that seeing is perceiving.
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