Lucy Raven: Edge of Tomorrow

Serpentine Gallery 8 December 2016 — 12 February 2017 Free

The Serpentine presented the first UK solo exhibition of the New York-based artist, Lucy Raven (b. 1977, Tucson, Arizona).

‘Raven exposes film’s nuts and bolts, but imbues them with new magic…At first it’s chaos; almost too much to bear. But slowly, it becomes mesmerising, even meditative.’ –Evening Standard

‘Experimental and ground-breaking…The central cinema shows Raven’s mesmeric Curtains, with stereoscopic images converging and becoming 3D when viewed through 3D glasses, but will also host an excellent series of cult films.’ –The Upcoming

Lucy Raven’s work focuses on the marginal spaces at the edges of image production, what happens behind the camera or between the frames of a film or animation. She follows the production of copper wire from an open pit mine in the American West to a smelter in southern China in China Town (2009). She observes post-production technicians converting Hollywood films to 3D in Chennai, India, linking the digitally created illusion of depth to ancient Indian bas-reliefs in The Deccan Trap (2015). She describes spaces and people on the outskirts of Kingston, New York in the hand-drawn animation I Felt As If I Had Actually Been To China (2007). This shift of focus from the image to its production encourages interrogation of the kind of imagery that has become all too familiar.

Lucy Raven: Edge of Tomorrow brought together a diverse selection of works in a site-specific installation within the spaces of the Gallery. At the heart of the exhibition, a cinematic space featured the animated film Curtains (2014), in which a series of still stereoscopic images converge and diverge, becoming momentarily three-dimensional when viewed through anaglyph 3D glasses. Over the course of the exhibition, this space played host to a series of film evenings programmed by Raven.

The question of time was paramount throughout the installation, which incorporated Raven’s own work, as well as a selection of objects that relate to it. From the slow-moving beams of the installation Casters (2016), to the flickering of film projection test patterns that form a looping visual score in the 35mm film RP31 (2012), time experienced in the gallery was measured in frames and repetitions.

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