Adrift is a new film installation for Chisenhale Gallery that focuses on travel, displacement and migration. A series of cinematic interludes present real and illusory places, fictive and actual events, and improbable and plausible memories. Adrift was shot in various locations around the world and edited into four separate sequences that are back-projected onto a frieze of suspended screens. Images of movement and passage form a common thread throughout the installation. Working ports, freeways, tourist ferries and cycles of embarkation are shown alongside scenes of emptiness and motionless activity. The work ‘travels’ through a series of generic locations as sequences shift from screen to screen.
In Lucas' practice, the use of a Super-8 camera blurs the viewer’s perception of time and place, and the eight millimetre-wide frames mean that visual detail becomes ‘lost’ during the filming process. The lack of detail reflects the way memory subjectively re-plays past events and how information is stripped away from the substance of recollection.
Sound is also significantly engaged with in Lucas’ practice. In Adrift, field recordings of public gatherings, rituals, traffic, snatched conversations and overheard music are arranged into layered soundtracks that accompanied each film sequence. Lucas foregrounds certain key sound elements in the edit whilst downplaying others in order to increase the ‘spatial’ sense of the work. Lucas also uses the potential of sound to provide a dislocated and at times contradictory space beyond the visual frame. Adrift contains intermittent sequences of sound that seem to have little visual or temporal connection to the installation’s on-screen imagery, causing a disturbance for the viewer and opening up the work to readings of other imagined places.
Anna Lucas is an artist/filmmaker who lives and works in London. In 2002/3 Lucas was Henry Moore Fellow at Spike Island where she presented the installation Bud that subsequently toured to the Melbourne Biennale. In 2008 she was the inaugural recipient of a new biannual artist’s residency in the Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics through the Ruskin Research Laboratory which was developed in collaboration with the Ruskin School of Drawing & Fine Art at Oxford and supported by the .