video installation with ambient sound


This installation was exhibited in 2003 as part of HOME AND OTHER FICTIONS... a solo exhibition at Chapter Arts Centre, UK

BACK OUT is a 12-minute colour video/performance with ambient sound, to be projected as a square image on to the ceiling and viewed from below. The video shows a circumnavigation of a 'home', shot upwards while sliding around on my back. This new work brings together several of my ongoing concerns - the fragile being, time and place and interior space and an attempt to find a language to speak about crisis and failure.


As with many of my works, BACK OUT takes as its starting point a particular autobiographical experience and attempts to develop metaphors to situate that experience within larger contexts and to present alternate readings. In 2000, I suffered a slipped disc, an agonizing experience that rendered me unable to walk, stand or sit. This situation forced an immediate dependency on others as well as a complete renegotiation of my living space, my method of moving around and my physical needs. Though not an experience I would wish to replicate, this sudden shift in my relationship to my body, my friends and to the world around me permitted a brief insight into the failed, damaged body and the particular emotional landscape of dependency.

The title of the work is suggestive of other readings of failure, of quitting, letting others down and backing out. As with my earlier work We Are Not Who We Were (1999), the piece also explores the dynamics and struggles of 'shared space' and shared life. In BACK OUT , 'home' is presented as a charged space of complex negotiation. This work is also in part a response to 'climbing around my room' by British artist Lucy Gunning, but where as Gunning's body is viewed as agile and sexual against a conquered interior landscape, BACK OUT presents a body that is low: a body that has 'fallen'