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Composition commission for three videos by Shezad Dawood, Pippy Houldsworth Gallery, London, 27 February – 11 April. 2014

Three Arrangements for Annabel & Cello (2015) is constructed as a series of visual ‘scores’ for performer and model Annabel Hornsby. Looking at ideas of looping, appropriation and ‘cannibalism of the image,’ the work is enacted in three sequential parts. Each part is enacted by the performer – largely seen in silhouette – in front of a projection screen, playing with the idea of the shadow play of the world, as in the analogy of Plato’s cave. A corresponding audio score to the visual score of the work responds to each part in turn - utilising other musical references, to extend the resonance of the piece.

Part 1 features Annabel in profile moving through silhouettes of African statuary on an otherwise white projection. Playing on the motif of Surrealism’s negotiation of race (cf. Man Ray’s Noir et Blanche), the work recasts both figurine and ‘subject’ as mere shadows. Part 2 features the silhouette and body of Annabel moving through the shadow’s cast by the multiple insect-like eyelets of an Igbo mask, also reminiscent of a science-fiction prop. Part 3 features Annabel moving across a specially prepared edit of various images from the artist’s own archive of moving and still images, which propose an alternate topography of the body as a score in various times and places.

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