Physical Traces

“I aim to create work that ultimately asks more questions than it answers.” - the artist

this is water (in kelp), 2019, exposed 16mm film underwater, A5, £100

this is water (in kelp), 2019, exposed 16mm film underwater, A5, £100

Through subtle abstraction of everyday forms my work focuses on the way material things convey immaterial ideas. Often working with analogue film, super8 and 16mm, incorporating the light, sound, and object of the projector in a sculptural manner to create works that investigate physicality. Objects or three dimensional forms can be used as a vehicle, with photography or video, to create a gestalt through the process of constructing and distorting. Exploring the concepts of the screen in relation to image by using imprecise and unreliable equipment, inconducive to quality of image, my work leans into and embraces the technical faults of the medium and uses it to its advantage. Celluloid film retains the combination of moving image and physical object in a way that cannot be replicated digitally, which is why, as a medium, it is vital to my work.

this is earth (in air), 2019, mould grown on 16mm film, A5, £100

this is earth (in air), 2019, mould grown on 16mm film, A5, £100

Can a film be a sculpture? I believe so and aim to investigate space and the movement and orientation within in it. Often looping the film using the existing space, the sound and physicality of these loops, incorporated into the architecture through their hanging, is often as much a part of the piece as the image on the film itself. More than just a flat image on a two dimensional screen, the film becomes light, colour, movement, and sound.

this is earth (in ground), 2019, exposed 16mm film buried underground, A5, £100

this is earth (in ground), 2019, exposed 16mm film buried underground, A5, £100

Often there is no narrative, a non-linear disruption of conventional cinema. From inception to completion the use of this physical medium to create an intangible effect is integral to my process. Though the end product is sometimes shown digitally, making work on film situates the body and the process of its making in the forefront, demonstrated through the artefacts and physical vestiges left on the film.

this is earth (in body), 2019, blood on 16mm film, A5, £100

this is earth (in body), 2019, blood on 16mm film, A5, £100

With my practice situated so firmly in the physical I collect a variety of things I use in my work, mostly mundane found objects, detritus of a quotidian existence, investigating the concept of ready-mades but also our human response to the physical things around us. Objects without context can be ascribed any meaning that the viewer chooses, placing their potential power, or lack thereof, in the eye of the beholder. By choosing and examining these things, taking them out of context, I attempt to give them a weight that they would not have in their original conditions.

this is fire (in phosphorous), 2019, burnt 16mm film, A5, £100

this is fire (in phosphorous), 2019, burnt 16mm film, A5, £100

Through my practice, eschewing conventional narrative in favour of the emotive object, with its materiality and presence, with or without function, and engaging with ideas of light and colour, texture and space through the use of film, I aim to create work that ultimately asks more questions than it answers.

this is water (in salt), 2019, exposed 16mm film underwater, A5, £100

this is water (in salt), 2019, exposed 16mm film underwater, A5, £100

In this series I bring organic and synthetic material (mould grown atop agar; dirt; glue; blood; bleach; the holes formed by the burning of a matchstick; saltwater) into contact with lengths of celluloid, either directly forming the image or altering that which was exposed via a camera. The results are then telecined before being projected back onto 16mm. This process creates an exposed-enclosed relationship, in which film is subjected to various substances and light while simultaneously ‘trapping’ the physical traces.

Photo source: the artist

Photo source: the artist

About the artist:

Monica Meyer is an American artist, born 1993, living and working in London, UK. Recently Meyer graduated from Slade School of Fine Art with an MFA degree, studying Sculpture before completing the degree in Media. With a multi-disciplinary approach to her practice, Meyer utilises moving image but situates it firmly in the realm of the physical. Previously Meyer gained her BA degree from Richmond International University. Recent work includes the Slade Degree Show, a sound work on Resonance FM radio, show with North.Street Collective at Unit 5 Gallery, and a screening of a 16mm film work and a digital video/performance at Close Up Cinema.

To view more work by the artist, please visit mcmmeyer.com. You may also follow the artist on Instagram @2mins58.


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