of the exhibition 'Straylight Cavern' is derived from cyberpunk
author and sci-fi visionary William Gibson's Villa Straylight in
his novel 'Neuromancer'. The Villa Straylight is a cyber-chateau
of sorts, inhabited by cyber-diegheties where anything and everything
is possible. Straylight Cavern offers the viewer a realm of possible
other worlds and dimensions, inspired by memories of Villa Straylight
and it’s inhabitants, but goes on to refer to other science
fictional situations where mankind has colonised natural rock or
ice formations in order to survive, such as the rebel bunker, ‘Echo
Base’, on the ice planet, ‘Hoth’, in Steven Spielberg's
'The Empire Strikes Back', or the androids cave in Michael Anderson's
film 'Logan's Run'. From the exterior, only a streamline, almost
computer generated graphic interpretation of glacial or rock formation
is visible. The interior of the cavern encounters the amalgamation
and communion of various artists works and interventions.
is a continuum of Richard Priestley’s curatorial approach
to his art practice in which he provides the construct of the scenario
in which the artists he has selected are to be shown. This approach
invites the participating artists to succumb to the effects of the
ambiance, politic and genre of the structure upon their work within
the intensity of the installation and its interior. Blurring the
boundaries of the artwork this approach questions authorship and
the recontextualisation of individual works. The structures borrow
from set design techniques and, in this instance, is handled by
the imagination of Priestley’s ‘second life’ avatar.
Portrayed as his adolescent counterpart the overall exhibition becomes
an autobiographical intervention.
The genre and
subject matter have been selected due to their potential as a vehicle
for this collaborative work. A selection of artists invited to participate
practice within the field of video and animation, which, in the
context of the installation, offer portals into other worlds and
dimensions being monitored from the caverns control centre. Milika
Muritu will design the construct for the interior of the cavern
where two and three-dimensional works are personified within the
rock and ice structure of the caverns interior, and imply a sample
collection and display process on the part of the fictional inhabitants
of the cavern.
Jonathan Baldock, Michael Bell-Smith, Rick Buckley, Aisling Hedgecock,
Ian Monroe, Takeshi Murata, Milika Muritu, Angelo Plessas, Richard
Priestley and Rafaël Rozendaal.
Bend, Michael Bell-Smith, 2008, Digital Video, Image Courtesy
the artist and Foxy Productions.