Venus Rising From The Sea, Video and Audio Installation, (2016)
Venus: The epitome of female beauty and sexuality. She has been imagined and re-imagined, moulded and shaped over time. Her Image is one artists have attempted to depict for centuries.
This video and audio installation is inspired by the tableau vivant, a living picture in which actors or artists models are costumed and lit theatrically. James H. Head published Home Pastimes; or Tableaux Vivants in 1860, a book which lays out the instructions for creating various tableaux vivants. This piece is inspired specifically by his writing on how to create the scene of “Venus Rising From The Sea”. The audio portion of this installation features a reading of the section in it’s entirety, a male voice reciting the instructions. The video portion of the installation features the artist attempting to recreate the scene, with intense focus, failing quite miserably. The “technology” of the time to create certain theatrical effects such as isinglass and coloured fire are replaced with glitter and sparklers, whipped cream is used to depict sea foam as the artist absurdly struggles to embody the Venus and simultaneously build the scene. In the background a slide projector displays art historical images of Venus, and related images, thus creating a dialogue between the artists performing body and that of the background figures. At times, the video freezes for several seconds to emphasize this relation between the present performance and the projected image.