Elizabeth Price at the Model, Sligo, 25 June – 28 August.
As is her usual practice, Elizabeth Price supplemented her installation at The Model – three video works and several prints – with a typically in-depth public talk about her work. Clearly she sees this as an important added offering, and the audio recording of the event allows comparisons between the perceptions of artist and viewer.
Price’s videos are so multi-layered one might expect that her account is a straightforward narrative of their genesis. Instead her talks are just as layered, as confirmed by the availability of several on the Internet. She exerts a verbal rigour equal to the production of her videos, but, notwithstanding this, there is a multiplicity of concerns that reject a single intent or meaning. These conversations provide many insights as to how and why the material – ideas, principles, images, sounds, words, patterns, rhythms, repetitions – combines and mutates.
Price understands there is a reservoir of sound, image, and rhythm residing in the subconscious which, when plumbed, may come forth as forms of agency in the social world. Importantly, she also understands that the raw material is many and varied, and that critical appraisal should arrest any singular movement towards the soporific and on to spectacle. The final video works remain remarkably quiet even while popular and consumer culture prevail as content. If one might take the liberty of suggesting an overall interest, it is that Price’s work uses the technical means of a technocratic world to expose and explore subjectivities within; and how these subjectivities might be put to work towards a more qualitative sense of community.