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On the occasion of her first solo show with the Gallery, (Ceal) Floyer watches as we walk along the path leading to the entrance. A panel of the frosted glass door stands out in its transparency affording a glimpse of the gallery’s interior, apparently empty. Somebody is coming to the door and, from being observed, we become observers. The situation is soon reversed as whoever is coming to welcome us (possibly Ceal) stands on tiptoe to look at us through the spyhole in the glass. The practice of identifying visitors rendered thoroughly obsolete. All we are looking at is a “sculpture”.
We walk in and a white monochrome work occupies the predominant wall of the gallery.
At the foot of the largest gallery wall instead, there’s an industry-standard safety marking floor tape on the ground, situated, as it is, in proximity to a conspicuously empty wall. “KEEP CLEAR” it says.
In the second room, a sequence of images projected on a free-standing projection screen gives illustrated instructions on how to represent hand shadows. Drawings of white hands on a black background. The shadows, usually black, turn here into white-drawn figures. The exact opposite of what we call a shadow.
A small shelf supports a spacer that projects a beam of light against the wall. “A 47 cm long dot” comes into view once the measuring instrument is in place. A numerical reading is displayed, the measure of the distance from the wall and the red laser dot is beamed onto it. A dot, of a given length.
Two intermittent light beams making their circular journeys on the floor. A random encounter of dance floor pinspots and two disco balls. There is just one surviving mirror on each, of the hundreds of tiles that normally cover them. They “Dance”.
Coming to the last room: a wall-size video projection displays the moving image of a screwdriver doing its job, driving a screw into a wooden plank. Using stock video footage, the framing has been incrementally shifted, so that the surface of the plank moves to meet the head of the screw, which seems to be static.
Floyer misleads us by creating absurd situations that are food for thought. We are too familiar with the concept of absolute beauty, but this show invites us to put the cards back on the table and open ourselves to surprise.