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BREATHING PAINTING

By  Tom Ireland 2023

PAINTING/BREATHING (2023) is a digital video about material qualities of painting and film and of picture making. The work is built around a 2-second clip abstracted from Stephen Spielberg’s Academy Award nominated* adaptation (2005) of HG Wells’ War of the Worlds (1898).

In PAINTING/BREATHING, the cinematic theatricality of the movie makes way for more intimate, painterly concerns. The actress Dakota Fanning is seen looking outwards and off-screen, partially obscured by an opaque door screen.

This door screen is critical – its presence on screen (along with the wooden bar across the centre) complicates the cinematic image, adding material qualities that anchor the image within the material tradition of painting. The tight, clipped loop (2 seconds; played forward and then backwards) gives movement within the frame but challenges the idea of a motion picture. Presented on a flat screen monitor (traditionally a back-lit device), the door screen is an barrier to looking both for the actress looking out of the frame and the viewer looking it.

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THE HEAVENS

AND YOU'VE FELT THE HORIZON, HAVN'T YOU?

ACTUALITY PICTURE / THE MAGIC LANTERN

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