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The Situation Envisaged

David Hall
1978

Multi-screen video installation

The Situation Envisaged

'Eight domestic TV receivers are placed side by side at eye level on a wall-to-wall support in a quarter-circle across the corner of a room. Each is facing into the enclosed space and away from the viewer, and each is tuned to a different TV channel from the next.

The viewer hears a cacophany of sound, and sees only an ever-changing projected glow beyond and above the line of TV sets. On approaching the installation, the screen of a video monitor is glimpsed through a small gap between each alternate set. It is playing a videotape, the content of which is difficult to decipher since the gap restricts the visual field to a narrow vertical section of the screen. The four possible viewpoints each offer a different segment - suggesting the assembly of coherent information only as the viewer moves from viewpoint to viewpoint. In doing so the tape time continuum is broken - expectations of a narrative progression are both implied and rejected - sometimes phasing by coincidence with the movement of the viewer, sometimes not. Fragments seen are of private ritual.. The work confronts issues of power and the individual; the public and the private; the viewer and the viewed...' DH, 1978.

First exhibited at Video Art '78, Herbert Art Gallery and Museum, Coventry, 1978. A later version titled The Situation Envisaged II was exhibited at the Air Gallery, London in 1979.

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