'.....Dryden Goodwin's three screen video installation, About, uses footage he has shot as he drifts around the city on trains, buses, by barge and on foot - evoking their temporal qualities of observation. His camera gently pries and occasionally intrudes into people's lives as both the artist and his subjects move through the urban environment, briefly encountering one another and then fading off into the multifarious city. He tests out who can be approached with the camera and who he needs to shy away from, offering up different qualities of engagement and empathy with each person. Goodwin uses these reactions to the camera and the fleeting relationships we develop with one another when out in the public domain. He emphasises our relationships with strangers and the ambiguities of gesture and movement we interpret from them with his use of sound, combining recordings created on the spot with his own orchestration. The sound track is in four parts creating a fluctuation of moods influencing our reading of the situation. The sound interacts in different combinations with the work's four visual phases, inflecting them with different meanings. The work creates a sense of yearning and loss in our wanderings as we spend a brief period of time with each person; each vignette playing its part in creating a whole, almost epic, narrative of movement, attachment and interpretation. Goodwin is preoccupied with the inhabitants of the city and the frustration at their essential unknowability as people come and go in such vast numbers we hardly know how to orientate ourselves to them. He emphasises a punctuating sense of loss as we pass people, catching their eye, knowing we'll probably never see them again, yet still creating imaginary lives for them in an empathetic act that reveals our fascination for others. Goodwin's work highlights how our innate curiosity and voyeuristic desires become scattered through the city as we absorb an astonishing amount of detail about one another in order to weave narratives, making the unknown, in some way, familiar......'
Extract from Catalogue essay by Simon Wallis, Curator of 'Paved With Gold', Kettles Yard, Cambridge, 1998
About has four visual sequences and four distinctive sound movements, over the course of 54 minutes they revolve in each combination.
|Stills from About|