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theEye: Graham Gussin

Year: 2003, 26 mins
Code: ILL-EYGus

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Graham Gussin creates art in an almost bewildering variety of media: film, sound, installation, events, photography, text, painting and more. The key early work Savannah (1990) features a wooden plaque and a wall light, while the production of the ambitious film projection Remote Viewer (2002) involved a trip to Iceland and the services of someone with telepathic ability. 

Underpinning all of his subtle, witty, often disarmingly beautiful work is a number of consistent concerns and influences: landscape and the notion of the sublime, science fiction cinema and Romanticism, place and movement. 

Made alongside the most comprehensive exhibition of Graham Gussin's work to date, at Birmingham's Ikon Gallery in 2002, this video profile showcases many of the artist's works, including films and projections such as Beyond the Infinite (1994) and Spill (2000) which plays so productively with time, space and perception.

Graham Gussin's work engages in some way with the human experience of the infinite. He is conscious that our perception and understanding of the world is manipulated and transformed by a complex layering of mass communications and consumer culture. Often his work suggests a sense of displacement, playing on our desire to be somewhere else, in a different time or space. He has been particularly influenced by science fiction, especially of the sort that presents a set of circumstances requiring resolution, such as H.G. Wells's The Island of Doctor Moreau, or touches on what J.G. Ballard has described as the 'internal landscape', Any Object in the Universe relates to a romantic tradition of landscape, together with the idea of a uropian space which is often explored in these types of science fiction. Much of Gussin's work is experiential, dependent on the viewer for its completion. In Beyond the Infinite of 1994, for example, the artist appropriated a scene from Stanley Kubrick's film 2001: A Space Odyssey. He edited and displayed two film loops of the same scene, one slightly longer than the other so that one loop appears to wait for, or follow, the other: 'The shorter loop has the spaceman wandering around the hotel, endlessly looking for himself. The longer loop includes not only this search but also the discovery of himself as an old man', Kubrick's narrative sequence is effectively disrupted. Standing between the two monitors, the viewer becomes a conductor of time and space between the two scenes.

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