A Domestic Image
Enclave 8, 50 Resolution Way, Deptford SE8 4AL
Private View: Friday 26 April, 6-9.30pm
Artist's Performance Lecture: Saturday 4 May, 4pm
Exhibition Dates: 26 April to 24 May, Wednesday to Saturday, 12-6pm
‘A Domestic Image of Preemption’, a multimedia installation by Helene Kazan, sets the ordinary image of the domestic space against a complex conceptual framework of preemption. Bringing together under one roof a sequence of interacting moving images made using a unique methodology of extracting visual information found in a set of photographs, the space depicted in each is reproduced, with the films revealing the potentially catastrophic breaking point under which each photograph is generated. Here, the architecture of the home is shown to transform, through a set of overarching conditions, from a space of shelter to a space of potent threat.
Whilst preemptive action has been etched into our collective consciousness through its application as a strategy of war, Kazan’s claim is that there is no less at stake when such measures are applied to the domestic context. Rather a reproduction of scale is performed, bringing into focus actions of a necessary fortification that take place within the domestic realm: for instance, the use of tape to prevent glass windows shattering when exposed to violent force during natural disaster or armed conflict. As such, the focus for this exhibition is image production – above all photography – as a preemptive act.
Exploring the conditions that provoke such actions, Kazan draws on the idea that any potential threat to the assumed security of this environment creates a situation that reconfigures the relationship between past, present and future. Rather than preventing future catastrophe, preemptive action becomes a driving force inducing it into the present. This proposition is unfolded from two standpoints: a series of photographs taken of Kazan’s own home during the Lebanese Civil War in 1989 and a set of images produced as a home insurance inventory in the UK in 2013.
Operating through the potential of these visual objects and unlocking the information harboured within them, Kazan utilises the elasticity and fluidity of time that is brought to light by this conceptual framework. The tensions of a limited futurity are activated through the use of filmmaking processes to trick time, capture it and then playfully traverse through it. Revealing to the viewer a narrated dialogue formed between the independent, yet interconnected scenarios. Illustrating the dissemination of sovereign power through these conditions, and therefore how domestic space is re-fabricated within the parameters of its control.
Helene Kazan is a multidisciplinary artist who has exhibited extensively in the UK and internationally. Across her practice, she uses research and archival material to generate moving image and mixed media sculptural installations. She is currently completing a Masters at the Centre for Research Architecture at Goldsmiths, University of London.
Curated by Iavor Lubomirov and Bella Easton. Text by Helene Kazan.