Sunday, 21 August 2011

Walking past a gate

21 June 2010.

When walking and looking at a fixed point – such as a lone tree in a field – the land appears to rotate around this focal point (an effect more noticeable when gazing out of a train window at a fixed point in the middle distance). Here a gate, which turns around a fixed post, is a surrogate for this rotational sense.
In the first picture the configuration of elements – steel gate, wooden posts, the square formed by two crossbars of an old stile(?), ragged blue plastic on barbed wire – stand together on a horizontal base like a sculptural group. While turning my head to keep looking at the configuration the elements move relative to each other in a mutually dependent way that articulates the space they occupy. In the picture plane there is the flattening of the square to a thin rectangle, the expansion and contraction of the gap between gatepost and fencepost, and the turning of the gate about its corner post (left of post to hidden by post to right of post). Within the sequence of three pictures these shifts can be inspected at a remove from the original movement that produced them. For example, the gatepost and fencepost begin to the right of the picture frame as almost parallel verticals; in the second picture they are enlarged, move toward the centre of the frame and begin to lean toward each other (further, a secondary echo of implied motion and depth is introduced in the receding line of fenceposts diminishing vertically up to the top edge of the frame); and in the third picture the gatepost and fencepost return to their first size and have moved to the centre of the frame, where they lean toward each other a little further.
To the left of the frame the square and post move in counterpoint.

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