A Closer Look at Turner Prize 2011 Nominee Hilary Lloyd
For her Turner Prize exhibition, Hilary Lloyd presents us with four separate video works – the frankly titled ‘Floor’, ‘Shirt’, ‘Tower Block’ and ‘Moon’. Her works infuse the mundane with the glamour of intrigue generated through abstraction, with her familiar subjects rendered exotic via detachment from context.
In ‘Shirt’, for instance, worn fabric is rendered nonfigurative, the patterns and folds becoming landscape instead of fashion, while Moon, a twin-screen installation, presents us with 21 miniature viewing-windows from which we voyeuristically glimpse a multiplicity of juddering orbs. The lack of contextual reference point, or narrative, in Lloyd’s repetitive image loops forces us to confront the physical act of looking rather than allowing ourselves to get caught up in the subject matter of the works.
Lloyd’s works seek to dissect and undermine the conventions of seeing; in doing so, she reveals to us the constructedness of vision. This preoccupation is addressed furthermore in the form of her installations, in that they enlist the mechanics of video-display for their sculptural qualities, with svelte screens, industrial brackets, pod-like DVD players, and circuitboard-esque cabling coming to the fore. Moreover, Lloyd’s works are not exhibited in a ‘black box’, which is the norm for other video artists; the pieces are shown always in daylight. This lack of concern for distraction from the outside world can be seen particularly prevalently in her Turner exhibition at the Baltic: the room in which Lloyd’s works are installed features a floor-to-ceiling window which usually remains blocked off during exhibitions; here it was specifically requested that it be left uncovered. Lloyd carefully controls our experience of her work in all aspects; we are never allowed to forget that we are mere viewers.
Hilary Lloyd was born in Halifax in 1964 and graduated from Newcastle upon Tyne Polytechnic in 1987. She now lives and works in London. Words: Maddie Bates / Photo: Thomas Keane © 2011 ArtLyst
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