In Elizabeth Nielson’s perspicacious essay on Laura Buckley’s practice that accompanies the artist’s solo exhibition at Cell Project Space, Nielson, director of the Zabludowicz Collection, refers to the immersive aspect of "Fata Morgana", which, she elucidates, “denies interpretation and demands submission.”
Submission is certainly one feeling Buckley arouses with her multifaceted installation, a walk-in kaleidoscope, comprised of hexagonal walls, mirrored entirely inside, and hooked up to a back projector which convulsively disgorges a compilation of images, which stack headily one upon the other, rippling and oscillating into the infinite.
The visceral effect of Buckley’s work – spiritual for some, or perhaps nauseating for others – belies the complexity of its construction. The images have been recorded and collated with a quasi-scientific, pioneering method which warrants a separate study of its own. In one technique Buckley has pioneered, moving photographs and objects are raced over the bed of a scanner – thus creating animations by hand via misuse of digital technologies. The results of this method can also be seen in two prints also presented here, "Bismuth Eyes" and "Net Drag". It may sound convoluted, but by labouring so painstakingly over her method, Buckley sets herself necessarily apart from fellow artists employing digital media. Rather than facile or gimmicky, Buckley is genuinely dedicated to discovering new and challenging relationships between materials and ideas.
Back inside Fata Morgana’s throbbing vein, the experience is, in a nutshell, an intense expression of how it feels to live in today’s world – hundreds of images, contemporary, historical, referential, political, social, interactions, objects, memories blur and blind, creating the effect of being inside a digital projection of your own life "flashing before your eyes", hurtling towards something – perhaps an inevitable death we have all forgotten is waiting, in allowing ourselves to be alienated and pulled along by this oscillating stream. An important show for anyone with an interest in contemporary art practices.
All images courtesy Cell Project Space and the Artist
Images: Laura Buckley, Fata Morgana, Cell Project Space, 2012