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Sam Bloor returns to the Fremantle Biennale in 2023 with his distinctive word-play revealed in an epic form spanning the exterior of the historic Elders Woolstores.
It's easy enough to describe the effect of this, but I'm not sure how I'll go at explaining it technically.
Basically, depending on where you stand, it either reads THE ENSEMBLE SINGS A SIREN SONG ... or ... PULP AND WAX, FLESH TO BONE, which I suppose you can read as a sentence – a poem, maybe, tho not a very good one.
The wall behind the black screens is white. Not painted, I think, but perhaps covered in white cloth (perhaps the installation is not permanent). The white lettering you think you're seeing is actually that part of the white screen at the back that becomes visible due to the angle at which you are looking through the circular perforations in the black screen.
There are two and only two angles from which to view the text. If you're up on the platform just in front of the screens you have to move about a metre either left or right to see a different letter. If you're on the other side of the road, which I suppose is the optimal viewing distance, you have to move the distance between two of the trees, about 4-5 metres.
If that's not clear enough, I suppose you'll have go down there and examine it for yourself.
I took these shots of more or less the same area of the work but having moved a metre or so to the right for the second one. In the first one you can mainly see the A (of the word AND) with the S less visible behind, to the right. In the second, the S (of ENSEMBLE) is now predominant, with the A less visible to the left.
Viewing from further away (like the other side of the road) you see only the A or the S, depending on where you are standing.
Here's the PULP AND WAX view ...
and, having moved 4-5 metres to my left, here is the ENSEMBLE SINGS view of more or less the same area (check the graffiti above).
Got it? That's the best I can do.
Taking cues from the site’s history and link with the surrounding port, Sam brings poetically charged text provocations and merges them with a barrier like lenticular screen spanning over 60 metres. Musing on themes across power and struggle, distance and desire, the perforated screens slowly disclose messages to passing viewers on foot, bike, car and train.
This project has been made possible by Metrix Group and their newly developed MotionPerf® lenticular screens, which are premiered in Australia for the first time with the Fremantle Biennale.
Text from the Biennale program website.
Top image by courtesy of Roel Loopers.
SIGNALS 23 website.
Garry Gillard | New: 4 November, 2023 | Now: 14 November, 2023