In her third exhibition with Sadie Coles HQ, Hilary Lloyd presents Movie, a new film projected across an entire wall of the gallery’s Balfour Mews space. This extended work combines raw and edited video footage to produce a chain of interconnected images, ranging between narrative fragments and abstract retinal sensations.
Evoking a visualised ‘stream of consciousness’, Movie shifts between subjects, perspectives and speeds. Everyday visions and vignettes – flowers, foliage, buildings, illuminated windowpanes or flaring streetlights – reel past, accumulating into a pattern that mirrors the wandering, recurrent movements of thought or consciousness. Certain objects or forms
function as repeating motifs (the tower block of One Canada Square, for example, or a lucidly-outlined leaf), yet the intricate sequencing of the video abstracts these images away from their usual significations or contexts, instead embroidering them into an multi-layered formalist composition.
While the scale of the projection is cinematic, the film’s subjects point towards the small ‘unremembered’ details or fleeting vistas that typically frame the human action of movies: Lloyd relocates the dramatic focus to these marginal and fleeting spectacles. In the process, she jolts the viewer between filmic genres or registers. The camera alternately adopts the fixed, unerring ‘gaze’ found in several of her earlier films, and the mobile viewpoint that she has increasingly employed in more recent pieces. Moving between static and mercurial modes of viewing, and crystalline and indistinct focuses, Lloyd elicits in viewers a sense of the inevitable slippage between objective and subjective (or unstable) ways of interpreting the visible world, while also alluding to cinematic tropes such as the gliding and erratic lens of 1970s cinema or the pornographer’s camera.
Traversing, glossing or scrutinising the exterior surfaces of urban reality, Movie gives extended and ambitious treatment to Lloyd’s long-term interests – the changes effected by fractional plays of light, the theatricality of the everyday, the vagaries of the gaze. Alternating between intelligible pictures and dilated or abstracted visions, Movie evokes not only the contingent process of viewing but the formless and unfixable spectres of the mind’s eye. As in previous installations, the physical context of the film’s display will be subsumed into the work: Lloyd is presenting the work in an environment that heightens viewers’ sense of immersion and accentuates the act of viewing. A curtain perforated by circular apertures alludes simultaneously to traditional cinematic décor and the circular flaring lights and similar shapes that punctuate the film. The projection, which stops just short of the floor, is itself made to seem like a physical drape or hanging. As critic Kirsty Bell has noted, Lloyd’s exhibitions entail “a fully physical viewing experience that engages hearing and movement as much as looking, that in fact shows vision itself to be contingent on movement and corrupted by sound … The bodies and structures pictured by the moving images are echoed in the viewers’ bodies moving through the space.”
Hilary Lloyd (b. 1964) lives and works in London. She has exhibited internationally, with major exhibitions including those at the Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Basel (2012); Artists Space, New York (2011); Raven Row, London (2010); Tramway, Glasgow, UK (2009); Le Consortium, Dijon, France (2009); Kunstverein München, Münich, Germany (2006); Waiters, Henry Moore Foundation Contemporary Projects, Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy (2003); Kino der Dekonstruktion, Frankfurter Kunstverein, Frankfurt, Germany (2000); Chisenhale Gallery, London (1999). She was nominated for the 2011 Turner Prize for her exhibition at Raven Row, London, the previous year. Group shows include A Singular Form, Secession, Vienna (2014); Janice Kerbel, Hilary Lloyd, Silke Otto-Knapp, Kölnischer Kunstverein, Cologne, Germany (2012); Remote Control, Institute of Contemporary Arts, London (2012); Un'Espressione Geografica (A Geographical Expression), curated by Francesco Bonami, Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin, Italy (2011); Little Theatre of Gestures, Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Basel, Switzerland (2009); Dispersion, ICA, London (2008); and Art Sheffield 08. Lloyd’s exhibition at Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Basel, in 2012 was accompanied by an extensive catalogue.