400 Oxford Street, London, W1A 1AB
Window 20 Exhibition: Friday 5 September – Sunday 28 October 2008
Ultralounge Exhibition: Thursday 9 October – Sunday 9 November 2008
Selfridges concludes its 2008 arts programme with Woman on The Run, a new work by the American conceptual artist Tracey Snelling. The installation intricately mixes architecture, scale modeling, video, photography and 3-D story telling, creating an atmosphere fusing Hitchcock-like suspense and Hollywood glamour. Woman on The Run is a multimedia project exploring a fragmented narrative about a fated woman. The main character, a combination of heroines and femme fatales from 1950’s and 1960’s film noir is trying to escape her fate. A crime has taken place, and she is wanted for questioning. Throughout the installation, different clues are given about what might have happened and who the woman is. Is she the victim, or the perpetrator? A study in feminism or an example of outdated ideas?
An alternate world of shrunken buildings, neon signs, and a life size motel, offers a selection of clues that conspire to initially draw the viewer into the action and then help them thread together the disconnected story. The viewer quickly becomes a witness and to some extent an actor within the story, often assuming the role of a detective. Video plays in windows and conversations can be overheard. Reality becomes based more in perception than in absolutes, and the blacks and whites of life shift to grey as the truth becomes shrouded in mystery.
Tracey Snelling has been interested in the idea of reality being something that continually changes, both due to perception, and according to an individual’s ideals and own subjectivity. Tracey explores this viewpoint through shifting scale and presenting a particular subject in a myriad of ways. A large building can inspire a small sculpture of that building, which in turns becomes a photograph, and eventually gets incorporated into another piece of art. Influences in Tracey’s work are heavily anchored in Americana and are fed by post-war US popular culture,from literature to cinema. Her work simultaneously celebrates, demystifies and re-interprets those cultural clichés with the view to making them both timeless and fresh.