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This commission focuses upon small props within cinema and the value and symbolism they hold. The relationship between them and the characters is personal due to their scale; they require close inspection and can be picked up and held in one’s hands, it’s very intimate. Despite their scale, they continue to carry significant narrative weight but don’t necessarily steal focus in the same way that props of a larger size do. The work reproduces the props as 3D models connected by a sprue and runner system (similar to scale-model kits). The specific props are conceptually connected and all relate to the nature of reality. The piece includes the totems in inception (the spinning top, chess piece, die, and poker chip), the small origami figures in Blade Runner (unicorn, chicken, matchstick man), the business cards in American Psycho. In Inception, the characters use the objects to make sure they’re not still dreaming; in Blade Runner Gaff uses origami to taunt Deckard by subtly referring to Deckard as an intricate fake; and in American Psycho the business cards are a physical nod to Patrick Bateman’s minimal grip on reality – all the business cards are identical with only slight variations in the texture of the paper stock and the font lettering yet with each new font, colour, embossment, he shudders and squirms with inadequacy. By reducing them to the same material the props will become shadows of their original forms. The films these objects originate from are a stylized fantasy, constructed by airbrushing reality into a narrow and illusory ideal of perfection. Therefore, by rendering them in grayscale resin they’ve been stripped back to only communicating their narrative importance within the film. “We find beauty not in the thing itself but in the patterns of shadows, the light and the darkness, that one thing against another creates... Were it not for shadows, there would be no beauty.” In Praise of Shadows, Jun'ichiro Tanizaki
Sidney Smith and Jim Bicknell-Knight are a London based collaboration working in performance, installation, moving image and sculpture. Their work often presents itself as a seemingly simple concept, but is always the result of a careful process of research, offering satirical, humorous critique on their subject. They use fantasy and fiction to propose situations and leave clues to encourage viewers to put together their own narrative; this comes in the form of objects or circumstances, that could easily go unnoticed, employed to call attention to otherwise overlooked elements of our daily lives.
Queen's Hall Digital, art, digital