Revealing the Invisible: The Art of Stansfield / Hooykaas from Different Perspectives (4 stars)

Revealing the Invisible: The Art of Stansfield / Hooykaas from Different Perspectives

Time-based work of the late Scottish artist and her Dutch collaborator

The time-based work of the late Scottish artist Elsa Stansfield and her Dutch collaborator Madelon Hooykaas oscillates between the terrains of the arts and sciences. In an overview of their practice, with works spanning three decades, the CCA showcases seminal works by this artistic duo who first met at art school in London in 1966.

Meticulous projections grace the walls of the gallery, using mathematical precision taking in the physical qualities of height and volume, and using clean lines to echo their own compulsive journeying. Movement in their work is always cyclical, because the artists are chiefly concerned with natural phenomena such as the rhythm of the seasons and the phases of the moon expressing itself through the tides. Similarly, principles of physics such as magnetic fields, the circulation of radio waves and electricity are employed to make observations. Pauses and silences are key to composing cadency for their work. ‘Day for Night IV’ is a circular screen receiving evocative projected imagery and a powerful variation on the familiar square format. Surround sound brings the viewer into acute focus.

Elsewhere a cubed monitor is wrapped in metal sheeting to obscure its moving image, and a blown up print portrays a television screen with indiscernible picture; but it is the radio receiver made out of cut slate rendering it poetically defunct, and the elegiac ‘Song for a Stone’, in which a soundtrack of ocean waves, washing over it, is played back through earphones that sit snug around its spherical head, that consolidate the show.

CCA, Glasgow, until Sat 29 Jan

Revealing the Invisible: Stansfield/Hooykaas

  • 4 stars

A major retrospective of the seminal first generation Scottish/Dutch video arts duo Elsa Stansfield and Madelon Hooykaas.

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