|Detail; show full image|
Sam Taylor-Wood is a photographer and filmmaker whose panorama, Five Revolutionary Seconds XI, combines elements of the still and moving image. Made with a rotating camera that turns nearly 360 degrees in five seconds, the work records the motions and gestures of six actors and friends enlisted by the artist. The image unfolds into disjointed vignettes in which each character seems lost in his or her own reality. Boredom, contemplation, and whimsy are present simultaneously. Alongside the image, loudspeakers play ambient noise recorded at the time the photograph was taken, adding sound to the vast space pictured in the panorama. By means of its scale, audio effects, and staged ambiance, the work suggests qualities associated with film. But unlike conventional movies which evolve and conclude, this piece remains intentionally unresolved.
Sam Taylor-Wood often explores how emotions are expressed. In her short 1994 film, Method in Madness, a young man appears to be having a nervous breakdown on camera. In fact, he is a method actor playing a role, though his emotions are painfully real. Is the man performing or not? Such questions are equally pertinent to Five Revolutionary Seconds XI in which it is impossible to tell the actors from the non-actors.
Sam Taylor-Wood lives and works in London.
Detail of Five Revolutionary Seconds XI. 1997
Chromogenic color print (28 x 298" overall)
Collection Rebecca and Alexander Stewart
Courtesy White Cube, London