Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Catherine Yass

Catherine Yass is an English Artist, most renowned for her photographs set in front of light boxes. She has a phenomenological concern into states of individual consciousness which often results in destabilizing results, whilst her experimentation with processing methods presents an intensified view of reality.

Since 2002, Yass has been increasingly making films along side her photographic projects. These films explore the psychological impression of architectural space. Descent is a film she made by lowering a camera by crane to the ground over a construction site, down the side of a high-rise office block in Canary Wharf, through thick fog. The resulting film was then screened in reverse, and displayed along side a number of upturned images. As a result of the camera being lowered through thick fog, the surrounding buildings are revealed in slow motion, abstracted into streaks of colour, where ascent is exchanged for descent and speed for disorientating slowness.

Still from Descent 2002, Image from Tate online

Descent, Ilfochrome transparency, lightbox, Image from Alison Jacques Gallery website

The following article in Frieze Magazine gives a particularly insightful description of Catherine Yass's work. Relating and comparing it to the 1960s, when film artists would make an aspect of their apparatus the subject, revealing their working process.

Yass's work is particularly of relevance for the use of a device to film and abstract environments. She subsequently went on to film Flight which was filmed from a remote control helicopter flying around the roof of Broadcasting House in London.

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