35mm film loop projected for one hour

In an empty corridor at the Slade School of Fine Art a work is temporarily staged. It exists long enough to be filmed and is then dismantled. Zavtra replays this occasion and while its hour-long programme extends the real time span of the work, the essence remains one of fleeting, chance encounter. Here is a work that is in turn a record of a work: a testament to an intervention which now only lives on in the space of the screen.

This film harbours a stillness rarely seen on a cinema screen. A single scene is held throughout, quite overwhelming in its profusion of detail. The film’s grainy black and white texture faithfully describes the features of an interior: the curve of a banister, a doorway overlooked by a marble statue and a window glimpsed almost out of shot. There is a candour about these monochrome objects whose pale shapes build a silent and powerful ambience. Within this static frame each detail is held with such clarity that the scene appears almost familiar, as it must be to the artist himself. Such concentration on a single image is resolute, an anchor of sorts.

This seemingly motionless scene is dissected by a swathe of bands replicating a shaft of light from the window at the edge of the frame. The appearance is of light frozen and given form. Each ray is held, luminous and transparent, but unlike light can be set in motion by a breeze.

The work that the film records is as elusive as the light it captures. Zavtra’s original screening was announced by a small invitation card picturing a roll of sellotape and without this indication the central motif may have remained unrecognised. A simple construction of carefully assembled lines of sellotape replicates the appearance of a sunbeam bursting in through the window.

How can a presence as vital and subtle as light be captured? This form is further mystified by the distance of a lens. Here in magnification this fragile, translucent structure appears as the essence of what it sets out to capture. A sellotape path of light has become the sum of light, both real and conceptual.

Zavtra is composed of only a few seconds of film, but in looped sequence the details of this quiet scene are given the opportunity to emerge gently. The daylight turns, casting its shadows, while a glimpse of rustling leaves is noted outside the window panes. The compact world inside the screen binds allusions to the space beyond its edges. Another point of reference is the site of the work. The empty art school corridor where the artist places his sculpture is charged with the memory of the everyday activity that takes place there. Like the falling light, it shines intently and passes on.

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