Dryden Goodwin presents ’13 X Christine’ for the group show ’Stories in the Dark’ - contemporary responses to the Magic Lantern at the Beaney, Canterbury, part of the Whitstable Biennale 2016. Goodwin has made a series of drawn head studies produced on traditional 3 1/4 inch Magic Lantern slides. Projected individually through an original 19th century Magic Lantern, the slides are also embedded amongst a display of historic slides in the Beaney’s collection. The images are of Goodwin’s mother, a sequence of separate portrait studies that depict single moments from a movement panning around her head. Each week a different slide from the set will be taken from the glass vitrine and switched with the one in the lantern, creating a slow-motion animation over the course of the exhibition.
By dissecting and slowing down this fluid movement into single drawn frame stills ’13 X Christine’ suggests the latent cinematic potential of this early pre-cinema technology. Goodwin’s drawings themselves act as another metaphor for the nurturing of an image into being, with the thrill of revelation as the subjects head turns to meet the gaze of the viewer.
Embracing the seductive qualities of the Magic Lantern, the soft lighting, and quality of intimacy evoked when revealing an image to a small audience, Goodwin’s delicate images of his mother, small in scale, projected to near life-size, draw the viewer in, expressing an innate desire to hold on to an image against the inevitability of the passing of time.
At anyone time, 12 of the slides will be displayed in the ’Glass’ vitrine in the adjoining ’Master and Material’ gallery (please see the Gallery floor plan).
’’Assembling the small Magic Lantern slides using the original 19th century glass and sealant tape was a tactile and delicate process and a way to connect with this earlier art form. For me, the powerful transformative quality of the lantern’s projection comes from the change in scale. Firstly directly viewing the collection of tiny fragile glass slides in the vitrine, then each one illuminated, enlarged and focused upon through the ’magic’ of the lens.’’
The exhibition curated by Ben Judd, with work also from Jordan Baseman, Adam Chodzko, Benedict Drew, Louisa Fairclough, Haroon Mirza, Lindsay Seers, and Guy Sherwin. With special thanks to Dr Nicholas Hiley, Head of the British Cartoon Archive, Templeman Library, University of Kent, for his advice and loan of the Magic Lantern.
Details from 13 X Christine