Openended Group: Moves
CCA, Glasgow, until Sat 12 Jan
INSTALLED DIGITAL FILMS
After a spate of uninteresting exhibitions that have attempted to turn the CCA into a ‘major platform for electronic and digital work’, we are faced with another technologically interesting but artistically dull exhibition by the New York-based Openended Group. Three installed digital films explore the all-too familiar triad of technology, movement and space and while these clunky issues come together reasonably successfully, the result still manages to keep the viewer very much on the surface of the work. As digital pixels flicker and throb, reflecting off large blank surfaces, the equally blank gallery-goer walks calmly past the work.
It is too easy to mention The Sims game in relation to ‘Pedestrian’ which is projected onto the foyer floor, but it gives a good idea of what to expect. As you peer down over this grey world, like a quickly disinterested eye, a myriad of mini-narratives unfold: someone shadow boxes on a plaza, lovers kiss, the rain falls and umbrellas are raised. Sometimes the figures seem to be looking at you, and you are suddenly aware of being a viewer. The act of viewing becomes implicated with surveillance, with figures followed by the projected light and trapped in the programme’s digital frame. The rest of the work appeals as interesting visuals, but the questions raised and the issues invoked are enormously tedious and ultimately slight.