- Site Gallery
Unfinished and open for suggestions, Site Platform has offered a space for "work in progress" to be explored and presented to the public in the traditional white cube gallery location.
Duncan Higgins is currently working on a project Unloud. This very title, a word not real in English, is taken from a translation of a Russian book he picked up in a cabin, and serves to describe this difficult yet exciting attempt to convey his past experience of his time in North Russia. The show is a combination of text, painting and video, each live and vital to feel the full atmosphere With the knowledge that it is still on-going, it is difficult to obtain a precise and rounded view of the work, but it is a privilege to see the progress and the current state of this project.
Both the small rectangular paintings and the video pieces were presented in a professional way. It was plain to see that there were plans for editing the cluster of videos, but for right now, it was certain that it all needed to be present to get a fully rounded idea of what he had experienced.
What intrigued me most, and what I felt was overlooked, was the writing. The low tech typed pages printed onto A4 computer paper were either bluetaked onto the walls alongside the 3D pieces or just left in a pile on the table. These were disregarded my most, but when I began to read, I found that I could not help completely falling into the story and into the characters lives.
‘Unloud is part fact, part fiction, part love story, part ghost story, almost a painted film, a sort of reportage or perhaps the truth even if it never happened.' – Duncan Higgins
Two characters Misha and Masha played star roles and as their thoughts are transferred across the pages alongside the intermittent insertions of the narrator, the story builds up and becomes intensely vivid in the viewers mind. I could feel the pure white bitter cold mentioned; I wondered about each relationship hinted at; and there was just enough excluded and left out so that I could apply my own imagination…my own story to these words.
"I hate it all….down…………….trodden….all those people drinking….swallowing words, just listen" (Unloud)
The pauses, the overlapping speeches, each controlled at what speed and with which atmosphere that I read the piece and I felt entirely compelled to read and feel each word and each sentence.
With underlying hints of politics, of history and of the desolate location, the words were more than enough to create a complete picture and create the images that were needed to understand. The videos were interesting and the paintings held their elements of mystery and sadness, but for myself, it was the neglected writings that held the strongest success throughout the whole exhibition.
For Duncan Higgins, Site Platform presented the perfect chance to see this project's whole body of work in a more formal way, and gave him the ability to receive the feedback that he would have otherwise not been able to receive. I believe that this may become the way of the future. It should be taken notice of, that this way of working can help develop work to another level and should be exercised my many more galleries. I believe that both the artist and the audience obtained inspiration from this setup and it was innovative and exciting to see professional artist's work in this state of progress.
Final year Fine Art Student at Nottingham Trent University. I mainly work with text within a live performative context.