Lydia Hannah, video, Offing
n. 1. part of the deep sea seen from the shore 2. the near or foreseeable future
installation existing of a video projection (11’53” in loop) on a light greengrey velvet screen of 4m x 0,70m, hung just above eyesight, with stereo sound
Where a panoramic view normally gives the spectator the impression that he has a large field of regard, the format of this video creates the feeling of watching the landscape with blinders on, that limit the sight into a narrow strip. In this strip, a simulated walk takes place. It does not become clear whether it’s a human walking, an animal roaming or a drone floating. It seems to rummage endlessly through the sandy dunes without ever getting a grip or a clear sight of the sea. Whenever the gaze directs itself towards the sky, it is allured by the pale blue and gets fixated. The movement is slowed down and there is no clarity about where the camera finds itself. Does it float? Does it swim? Does it fall? To ultimately return to the quest that arrives nowhere.
“The panoramic video projection Offing of 2016 gives an oppressive sense of space, as if you were looking through a narrow, elongated split at reality (the projection screen measures 70 by 400 cm). The camera randomly strays through a dune landscape and loses itself now and then in the pale blue of the sky, or that of the sea, it isn’t always clear. In an endless movement proximity and distance oscillate. They incessantly change position and meaning, without ever offering the eye anything to hold onto. The horizon, as a barely perceptible division between pale blue and an even paler blue, shows a perspective that is continuously yielding. The only thing that the horizon has to offer us, are the ever-changing views. This uncertain and ambiguous relationship between the perceiver and the perceived, between the reality and our imagination of that reality, forms a constant and fascinating factor in the work of Lydia Debeer.”
- Frank Lubbers for The Empty Foxhole publication ↳ full text