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Facsimile, 2008.

The video takes place in a tropical setting. The camera smoothly tracks through the undergrowth and plant life of this jungle environment focusing on specific details, creating the impression we are moving through a real location. The camera slowly reveals that the action is taking place in a Large Victorian glass house of a Botanical garden. In this case the subjective viewpoint of the lens, the continually tracking camera and the looped editing augments this visual deception. The visual conventions of science fiction films are also knowingly referenced in this piece through camera work that creates the impression of a deserted paradise.

The primary inspiration for the work is the science fiction novel The Invention of Morel, by Adolfo Bioy Casares. The novel’s story centres on a man, marooned on a tropical island, who discovers an invention that can reproduce life-like three-dimensional images of anything it records. The narrator eventually realizes that the people he encounters and some of the surroundings are recordings, repeating the course of one week eternally. The text accompanying the work is a passage from the novel where the eponymous Morel reveals to the islands inhabitants that their existence is a repetition of past events destined to be replayed eternally.

Credits

Camera: Ronan Fox
Assisted by: Declan King
Edited by: Stephen O’Connell, Robbie O’Farrell
Sound: Karl Burke
Voice-Over: Phillippe Saltel

Thanks to: The National Botanic Gardens, Dublin and The Office of Public Works.

This work was made with support from the The Arts Council/An Chomhairle Ealaion and was also commissioned by The Open Eye Club for The Human Arc event in Tramway, Glasgow