more art snaps from Snape…
limn is one of two works by Mark Limbrick included in the recent ‘Snap’ art exhibition at the Aldeburgh Arts and Music Festival.
Mark Limbrick, limn, 2012 (steel, wood, electronics, mixed media)
limn comprises a large circular chamber in which a small ‘lamp’ noisily gyrates around the perimeter of what appears to be the suggestion of a cliff or coastline (hence the limn of the title), speeding up and then slowing down… it recalled the movement of ships or blinking lighthouses, of night-time maneouvres or coded communications, or perhaps the covert operations of the cold war era, as Orford Ness is nearby (see below)… it was an interesting work to watch (and listen to), but i could find no further information on this piece…
another work by Mark Limbrick is a ‘sound installation’, One, comprising two large trumpet or conch-like white speakers (referencing both the old-fashioned phonograph and forms of the sea). they are spaced some metres apart on the lawn outside the main concert hall (facing each other), conjoined by a telegraph wire, the vibration of which is apparently simultaneously broadcast by the two speakers – atmospheric, disembodied and eerie, as one might expect – listening to the wind is like listening to the sea – we are transported somewhere else.
Mark Limbrick harnesses a ‘resonant’ element of nature (the wind) and artfully broadcasts it on what could be classed as a complex and large musical instrument. one issue with ‘sound’ works like this is that, in the mechanical ‘construction’ of the idea, it feels unavoidably ‘contrived’, and perhaps the ensuing experience is less poetic than if one had come across a similar phenomena naturally in the environment (see quote below).
the naughty cynic whispered that some of it may be pre-recorded (but i didn’t think it was). the wire also suggested an idea that that any translation of these ‘sounds’ into meaningful ‘communication’ is impossible – are the two speakers set apart in such a way to imply there is no communication between them? furthermore, i wasn’t sure if anyone was allowed to reach over the white cordon and pluck the wire to see what other sounds it could make? it’s an engineered telephonic ‘soundscape’ which didn’t photograph very well, but i have since found a good clip on youtube:
One by Mark Limbrick
In support of this work, Limbrick quotes Thoreau:
As I went under the new telegraph wire, I heard it vibrating like a high harp overhead. It was as the sound of a far-off glorious life, a supernatural life, which came down to us , and vibrated the lattice work of this life of ours.
Emily Richardson, over the horizon, 2012 (HD video, 20 minutes duration)
Emily Richardson’s ‘over the horizon’ is a video installation work (in collaboration with Chris Watson) concerned with the history and experience of Orford Ness (or just the Ness), which was once a military radar & surveillance station (then owned by the MOD). it is now a nature reserve (managed by The National Trust) but many of the buildings remain, in various states of decline and decay, nestled along the shingle banks, slowly encrusted with rust or coated in algae, as the relics of the cold war become nesting sites for the shoreline’s birds. it’s a film-maker’s dream, in sound and vision. the video is everything you would expect it to be from such a seemingly desolate location: poignant, muted, layered, melancholic, eerie, bleak, a little bit dystopian – a place that time forgot, lost in the zone, the haunting remains of secret operations or military experiments merging with nature as it goes about its daily business of survival.
over the horizon has some clear similarities with the works of Mark Limbrick, Maggi Hambling and May Cornet in ‘Snap’. in fact, the more memorable works in ‘Snap’ are phenomenological in their intent, exploring sensory responses to the experiences of these locations…