Rotating in a Room of Images

2007-Present

This project began as an experiment in curatorial practice at Battersea Arts Centre, London in 2007.

Lundahl & Seitl, in the role of curators, gave the artist Jacopo Miliani the brief of exploring relationships between host and guest, context and work, and how the presence of the viewer activates a work of art. Miliani's solo show then acted as a stimulus for this new work by Lundahl & Seitl.

Since then, Rotating in a Room of Images has existed as an artwork in its own right, and has been reformed according to the pragmatic and architectural nature of its setting. Permitting only one participant at once, this short work of around 15 minutes sees the visitor moving through a series of largely whitewashed and ‘neutral’  gallery spaces supported by an instructional yet ghostly narrative conveyed through a wireless headset, along with the movements of seen and unseen performers sharing the space. Including the apparatus of a closed circuit video – in which at one point the visitor is presented with their own ‘replica’ on a screen – the work culminates in a strange tableau performed by its actors. The tableau is shocking both for its contrast to the inhuman and sterilised nature of the work’s preceding ‘scenes’, yet also for its familiarity – the shape of this scene (along with its distinctive characters), having been subtly introduced to the visitor throughout the work.

Steeped in collective memory, Rotating in a Room of Images uses the gallery space as a departure point from which to access traces left by art history. The visitor is followed by their own observations, as if haunted, in a space that is collapsable; sliding doors and moving walls take a single visitor through an itinerary of gallery spaces that shift in size with move through time, all taking place in a faint chiaroscuro that fades to total darkness.

Rotating in a Room of Images changes in relation to every specific commission, and where possible Lundahl & Seitl work together with a small group of curators, artists and writers to create an exhibition, a constructed context, where the work is situated.

In September 2012 Adam Alston gave a paper about the relationship between affect and risk in Rotating in a Room of Images. This formed part of a symposium on Affective Science and Performance by the Centre for Cognition, Kinaesthetics and Performance at the University of Kent. You can read the abstract here.

Lundahl & Seitl