Courtesy the Artist and Antoine Levi, Paris
Within Drench my treatment of moving image was intended to accentuate the fetishistic aspects of the materials and surfaces that are present throughout the piece. The decadent qualities of materials such as ebony, mother of pearl, ceramic, gold and silks are both intensified and abstracted through the sweeping camera movements and macro work employed. I wanted to use this way of working as a tool to explore the representation of seductive and illusory surfaces and in some ways accelerate their hallucinatory qualities.
My use of High Definition video is intended to act as a cold, contemporary counterpart to the natural richness and exclusivity of the crafted objects shown within the piece, and indeed the living ‘imperfections’ of people’s bodies to enforce the sense of an uneasy temporal fusion of epochs and materialities. Through Drench I wanted to create an ambiguous space from which to explore relationships and slippage’s between the body and gender, commodified entities and notions of hedonism and excess. I was also interested in creating an undercurrent of falsity, of the constructed, an environment that is not really selling anything and of products that are in reality hand made with their own irregularities, thus creating a kind of fusion between these objects and the bodies surrounding and dancing to/with them. Drench depicts a series of advert like vignettes, juxtaposing fragmented shots of undulating bodies with those of my own crafted objects all housed within a manipulated environment. When viewed through the lens In wanted these objects to exist in a strange hinterland, where they are removed from their immediate hysicality, allowing them to be situated somewhere between artefact, luxury commodity and prop. Through the reframing and merging of their functions, I wish the objects in Drench to be seen not as static end points, but as tools of activation. Formerly based in moving image, sculpture, painting and events my practice is primarily concerned with the creation of immersive environments and objects, which, holding a veneer of seduction, seek to access the cerebral through sensual experience.
Zoe Williams is currently living and working in London and is represented by Antoine Levi gallery, Paris.