A valedictory love-note to cinema and the intimate hold it continues to have on the collective imagination, this collaboration between Michael Curran and Imogen Stidworthy consists of a number of different elements. On two separate video monitors, the faces of the artists are periodically illuminated by the light of a match, whose brief, dwindling flame allows each protagonist a finite moment to conjure a fragment of cinematic narrative; read aloud, as if in sleepless vigil, from a seemingly inexhaustible sheaf of papers. Like emissaries from a post-apocalyptic future, these ghostly word-pictures are supplemented by an equally haunting vista: a large video projection of a sunlit Maryon Park in South London (famous from Michelangelo Antonioni’s classic film Blow-Up). A key location in the film, which has since become an iconic image, or primal scene, in cinema history, Maryon Park is a place where memory consorts with hallucination. Invoking both the spirit of that film, and the phantom traces of numerous others, Closing/Close By alternates between an act of archival retrieval and a conditioned reflex of involuntary projection; its trail of images and investigations spilling out into the gallery, encompassing sketches, jottings and photographs on pinboards, and over the pages of an accompanying publication.
Michael Curran, Imogen Stidworthy