Exercise 2: Interpreting video art

oca fruitWatching the video of Sam Taylor Woods Still Life I find it is a compelling and somehow shocking film. The time lapse video shows in just a few minutes the process of decay which in real time would take weeks. The simple setting of fruit on a woven platter with no particularly special lighting or background makes it more accessible as it could be a bowl of fruit on the table in your own home. On the table with the fruit Is a pen. The contrast with the fruit rotting and the plastic pen remaining also gives a sense of time related to specific objects. The lack of sound during the clip is unnerving and keeps attention focussed on the images.
In a similar film entitled A Little Death, she shows a decomposing rabbit which is also quite shocking. In another less shocking but also unusual work , David, commissioned by the National Portrait Gallery in London, the film shows David Beckham asleep. This theme continues with the sense of time passing but during sleep we are not conscious of the changes taking place within the body and outside of it.
Sam Taylor-Woods seems to be influenced by her sense of the transience of life. Her own history with two episodes of cancer may well have encouraged a curiosity about the impermanence of life.

Lapse of MemoryAnother artist working in this way is Tony Partington with Lapse of Memory. This film shows time passing, mostly using clouds and shadows  whilst prehistoric standing stones remain.


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