Somewhere Over the TV

By Nina Pope and Karen J. Guthrie, 2 October 2008

A recent exhibition by Karen J. Guthrie and Nina Pope at the Collective Gallery in Edinburgh and Fringe Gallery in Glasgow

Having set up a conversational 'tableaux' between a computer and a television monitor within the installation, the most obvious question asked in the exhibition would seem to be one about the differences s in forms of screen representation, television and computer, and their role in (re)constructions of the real.

By creating self-referential animation and video loops, and using a typically romantic iconography,, the subject has however been made more complex. A dark forest beckons, felled trees are rearranged in the gallery, and a yellow path winds its way through the adjoining spaces; the floor's surface is covered by a carpet of flowers. A 3-D computer simulation of a visitor's walk through the installation is continually shown to the outside, as are (inside the gallery) a static image of the 3-D model of the trees and video footage of the forest they are intended to mimic.

Untitled by Nina Pope and Karen J. Guthrie

Image: Untitled by Nina Pope and Karen J. Guthrie

As icons, both the dense forest and the road have become established as symbols alluding to journeys inward, or toward the unknown and mysterious. `Somewhere over the TV' is less a deconstruction of the relationship of the televisual or computer created to the real, than an examination into their potential for representations of the fantastic or metaphysical.

Much of the rhetoric around Virtual Reality has created expectations of dreamscapes made real, a seamless field where representation is untainted, ahistorical and a new perspectival purity opens up. It is perhaps the intention here to reimbue Dorothy's path and the gothic forest with a sense of deferral and yearning. Never getting to Oz could be the point precisely.

Nina Pope:

14th January - 4th February, Collective Gallery, Edinburgh

13th - 31st March, Fringe Gallery, Castlemilk, Glasgow.