Lina Selander: The Offspring Resembles The Parent.

A dark room. The enticing glow of a projector, occasionally punctuated by a soft voice-over. You can feel the silence. The other viewers shuffle too, hoping to not be disturbed or disturb. Close-ups hover over historical books, political pamphlets, worn papers – old documents which wear their age as importance, as relics. The camera lens glides and holds. Go. Again. Stop. Loop.

During the plentiful pauses the projector hums, barely; I think of a background, an underneath, an unseen. I feel my breath; how my chest moves and then feels awkward, strange, once this awareness hits. Every image, every piece of text on screen resonates with the other, stitching together ideas, thoughts and suggestions about history and economics; all the backgrounded constructions seem similarly awkward once poked and prodded onto the screen.

Lina Selander’s ‘The Offspring Resembles The Parent’ (2015) at the Sirius Arts Centre is a reconfiguration of her installation at the 2015 Venice Biennale. Now, in this smaller space, there is less work on display and less room to navigate what is present. One key element remains; the unyielding dedication to duration. As a formal device this is refreshing, resisting what appears to be a general speeding up with contemporary video art – it feels as if the techniques of advertising have bled through to ensure the viewers’ attention span holds for longer. More importantly though, this patience lends a greater consideration, a more fulfilling substance to Selander’s deep diving into the world of ideas.

Written by Chris Hayes

Chris Hayes is an Irish writer based in London. Regularly writing about contemporary culture, he edits magazines, works in galleries and runs independent projects. He has worked with Ormston House, CIRCA art magazine and others. His special issue TORY HATE was covered by The Art Newspaper and stocked by Tate.


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Sirius Arts Centre, Cobh-Glanmire, 11 August to 18 September