Slow Life

five-screen video installation | 2003

Unbroken, real-time video projections of domestic scenes are filmed with a static camera, recording everyday incidents that are performed very slowly, stretching 30 seconds to 30 minutes. There are elements within the picture – a fire, running water, a train passing a window – that are reminders that time has not slowed down. Where a fixed image arrests and holds onto a moment, here the time inexorably slips by. The performers are extraordinary artists in there own right but there is a sense of anonymity in these images of ordinary life. The soundscape creates a hermetic world of creaking furniture and floorboards as the performers slowly move almost imperceptibly.

Lighting and camera: Paul Bush, David Gopsill and Martin Jones. Sound: Graeme Miller

Performed by: Phyllida Barlow, Fabian Peake, Florence Peake, Clover Peake, Edward Peake; Brain Catling and Sarah Simblet; Martin Jones and Emma Bernard; Julian Maynard Smith and Gary Stevens; Mark Weyman, Rosie Thwaites and Rachel Gomme. 

Commissioned by Matt’s Gallery.

Previous performances
  • Matt’s Gallery, LONDON 2003
  • SOUTHAMPTON City Art Gallery 2012
  • Centre d’Art Contemporain, GENEVA
  • Kettle’s Yard, CAMBRIDGE
  • HELSINKI Photography Festival, ‘to be continued…/jatkuu…’., Finland
  • Tales of the City, British Council exhibition for ArteFiera, BOLOGNA, Italy
  • Conical, MELBOURNED International Arts Festival, Visual Arts Program, Australia

“Stevens’ installation achieves meaningfulness without seeming to aim for it…Sculptors, film-makers, performers and realist painters (on the show’s evidence, Stevens’ sensibility is a combination of these) will come flocking from all directions to feast eyes on (it)’.”
Art Review, 2003

“The painfulness of these performances is both mesmerising and terrifying, thrown into sharp relief by the relentless continuity of the life objects around them.”
Portfolio, 2003