slow burn

Images: Louis Lim

slow burn
Kinly Grey
14 Nov – 8 Dec 2018
Metro Arts, Brisbane 
Click here to read catalogue essay by Emma McRae

My work, horizon, symbolically reproduces the horizon using ordinary materials. The horizon summoned is two-fold: the planetary horizon, and also José Esteban Muñoz’s ‘queerness as horizon’ (2009), where the horizon is understood as futurity, and as a space of possibility, not yet here. With light, smoke and mirrors, horizon attempts to lend a tangibility and immediacy to both horizons, that are by nature, always out of reach. This immediacy prioritises the senses in favour of experience, and in the pursuit of a kind of understanding that might lie outside of empiric observation or abstracted philosophy – a kind of instinctive knowing. horizon contains repeated circular forms (the mirrors, the spot light, the shadows, etc) drawing connection to similar forms repeated at a cosmic level, and to the interconnectedness of all things. Reimagining these horizons using mirrors like that of my late Gran, I evoke the divine through the mundane, attempting to pull feelings that sit beyond my reckoning into the physical realm to experience, connect, understand, and to heal.

Kinly Grey

slow burn was a solo exhibition presenting a new body of work developed during my 11-month residency at Metro Arts, Brisbane. During this residency I continued my research into spatial experience, and its affect. Concentrating on the horizon as formal stimuli, this exhibition explores the thresholds of perception as spaces to engage other ways of feeling, understanding, and being in the world. slow burn included a new light-based installation, horizon and a new video work, untitled (slow burn). In these works, the immateriality of light and conflations of scale are investigated as poetic devices to engage play, imagination, memory, and contemplation.

horizon was in a darkened gallery. The work involves four identical antique mirrors, mounted on makeshift stands of recycled timber, one spotlight with a narrow golden beam, and a haze machine. The mirrors are arranged and angled so that the spotlight strikes the first mirror, and reflects the beam to the next mirror and so on, travelling to all four mirrors and eventuating on a blank gallery wall. untitled (slow burn) is a video work played on seamless, infinite loop. The video shows a horizon with a low sun burning over the ocean. The footage is hand-held, and taken from the water. Occasionally the feet and knees of the videographer become visible, bobbing on the surface of the water.

slow burn plays with the periphery of the senses to explore the kinds of meaning, feeling, and experience that lie outside empirical understandings of visual phenomena. horizon presents the horizon as an immaterial beam of light. You can look, but an attempt at touch blocks the beam of light, and the horizon vanishes, so is the chain reaction of reflection. Untitled (slow burn) is a meditative study of the horizon, practicing immersive, sensorial, emotive, and intuitive enquiry where optical apprehension cannot suffice. Both works hover at this fringe of perception- is it in this unattainability that exists the divine?

Footage: Charlie Hillhouse

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