By Louisa Beatty
Video Artist Polly Stanton’s ‘Hallway’, is a 2 minute 30 second long slow zoom video. The entirety of the work consists of a slow moving zoom from one end of the hallway to the empty back room of a seemingly abandoned house. Almost unnoticeable as the work begins, a low drone of audio escalates in unison with the cameras movement, building up as the camera finally approaches the edge of the doors frame and cut.
The screen is black in an empty and echoing (and bizarrely satisfying?) anticlimax.
Presented in the gallery context of ‘Blue Oyster Project Space’ the work is projected to fit the size of the rooms back wall in an immersive allusion to cinematic production. However -not attending the original viewing- stanton’s work was directly presented to me online through a series of stills from the work as a representation of the zooms progression. If it wasn’t for the shots interesting composition I would have never investigated the work further (in terms of finding research/artists creating durational works), the fast forwarded photo progression documented conceptually seeming to undermine the very real tension Stanton creates through time manipulation. But they are still beautiful tense images… I’m not sure
[How am I supposed to document durational art?
maybe I could just present the exact same still over and over?]
Never the less, Stanton’s play on cinematic suspense results in the ultimate anti climax, shifting the weight of the work from subject to viewer. The durational emphasis on suspense and expectation forcing overall self awareness and bodily reactions from the audience. I’m interested in the almost therapeutic process of acceptance and deepened understanding when an audience becomes forced into durational engagements with ‘disengaging’ works.