artist / participant
Christina Mackie’s new work for Gallery 4 is a composite of images in which the manufactured world relays the natural world in different kinds of images and artefacts.
It is a sculptural installation and deliberately so, made for a ‘sculpture gallery’. It reinforces the planes and intersections of the world around us, and the way they are translated into the different surfaces of visual art. These planes - the vertical frieze of the pine forest, the horizontal window of the sea’s surface, the beach itself - are subject to a degree of slippage, emphasised by the way in which Mackie has filmed them, and by her play on the movement of the tide.
At certain points nature is domesticated or anchored. The stones on the beach have been polished, apparently conventional images on home-made plates represent the faces of big cats such as the snow leopard. But the tenor of the work - its combination of unsettling movement and mechanistic noise - suggests an underlying threat. This threat is most clearly evidenced in the projection of the forest, which suggests not only the trees, but also a feline profile. We are at once on the inside, looking out through its eyes, and looking back on it.
Mackie’s work is inherently composite. It begins with an image. Attempts to creep up and capture that first picture are multifarious and indirect, approaching from the side rather than the front. If the image is the prey, her combination of different ways and means suggests the hunters closing in. Cartoon stereotypes help to identify and frame more fundamental sentiments. Mackie’s use of very varied materials and techniques - both homely and high-tech, static and moving, natural and synthetic - assert that ‘truth’ is plural and shifting, but nonetheless magnetic. divider
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