REFERENCE RIO (2016)
Reference Rio (2016) visually explores the Rio cinema in London, a site constantly under threat of closure. The cinema is first filmed using a 360-degree device that turns both vertically and horizontally in synchronized time, allowing the choreographed movement of the camera to record every detail of the architectural site. This pre-recorded film of the empty auditorium is then projected onto the cinema screen. The same rig is then used to track the movement of the recording device, by replacing the camera for a laser. As the audience ‘maps’ the projection to the laser within the ‘physical’ cinema space, a complex relationship occurs between artwork, audience and site. The projected image has two roles: one to locate (anchor the audience within the cinema space) and the other to disorientate (see the cinema space in a new way).
The audience become aware of their position within the room and within the filmic space depicted in the projection. Thus, physical space, typically a motionless entity that one can passively inhabit, is transformed into ‘activated’ live space. The primary experience of watching and the secondary experience of representing are merged. The audience becomes aware of their position within the room and within the filmic space depicted in the projection, through a machine that records the space in the past and acts in the present. The device is a major part of the site-specific construct; rather than being merely an invisible tool, it’s performance is the main subject of the artwork.