BRASS ART / Shadow Worlds | Writers’ Rooms – Freud’s House

Studying the fabric of poetic acts is bashful work. Circling round circles, it is easy to find yourself coy, nervous perhaps to wade in with opinions you’re not entirely convinced are all of your own making. Knowing honesty is a twenty first century problem, and there is much joy to be found in discovering earnesty. The number of contemporary art practices which have such an unsettling agenda, only supports such a stance. It is also true that when we are confronted with new images the world around us also suddenly becomes new. Thus art looks to casts us onto our back foot.

Exploring sentiments surrounding time, memory, doubling, and working both with traditional media and digital technologies is the collective Brass Arts. The collective’s on-going project ‘Shadow Worlds’ sees them enter domestic spaces that selected authors have previously occupied. Currently on display at International 3’s gallery space in Salford, is the piece ‘Freud’s House’. Steeped in atmosphere, a sense of the mnemonic rides through the dual screen projection, which moves round in a kaleidoscopic manner. Such an enchanting display is only complemented by electroacoustic composer Monty Adkins’ sonorous soundtrack of sweetheart hums, and soft flickers of white noise.

The work is difficult to glean anything solid or resounding from and consequently leaves us a bit befuddled. How do we explain our attraction to a work of art when we are foreign to its process? Frustrated slightly when the un-veiling of a work’s process becomes the essence of the work, as this offers us little more in the way of a novelty nod of the head. The emphasis here does not lie with the how though, as how is limp, lame and only leads to answers. Art excites and flourishes when it has us here, on the ropes, forced to ask ourselves questions that lead to more questions. The appeal of ‘Freud’s House’ aside from its primitive alluring beauty, is to our innate personal esoteric. We are not cast into the world, it is seen by us, transcending before our very eyes. The eidetic nature of us magnifying beings appears to be the precarious problem here.

The crux of the ‘Freud’s House’ sees an array of intimate performances unfold within Freud’s former abode. Cast in this seminal black and white fuzzy visual objects and figures, both familiar and strange, patrol through Freud’s hallways and staircases. Brass Arts have used kinetic laser scanning technology to capture such proceedings, a medium which is better known for residing within your gaming console to capture movement. Such a mechanism captures a certain level of detail, however omits a noticeable lack. We are therefore left with atmospheric shadows, woolly forms, and a level of vagueness that would allude to a crude set of constricting metaphors. Being sensibly aware of Freud’s ghostly presence in all of this, we can start to deconstruct how we project ourselves onto space, or reflect over the possibilities of how space constitutes our understanding of presence and absence. Sceptical towards getting carried away in any over-dramatisation though ‘Freud’s House’ clearly does have its charms, and feels well at home at International 3’s composed, mellow white cube gallery space.

Brass Art / Shadow Worlds | Writers’ Rooms – ‘Freud’s House’ has been commissioned by University of Salford as part of their growing Commission to Collect Programme.

Ashleigh Owen is an artist based in Manchester.

Image courtesy The International 3.

BRASS ART / Shadow Worlds | Writers’ Rooms – Freud’s House, The International 3, Manchester.

18 September – 30 October 2015.

Published 14.10.2015 by James Schofield in Reviews

588 words