New work by the Canadian artist, Jean-Paul Kelly is to be presented by the Delfina Foundation in September. Exploring the relationship between materiality and perception, Kelly examines complex associations between found photographs, videos, and sounds from documentaries, photojournalism, and online media streams. By working through these documents, Kelly seeks to illuminate the gap between physical matter and the subjective experience of it in the world.
In this new installation, That ends that matter, Kelly questions documentary practices in UK courtrooms through a three-channel video and works on paper.
In winter 2015, whilst in residence at Delfina Foundation, Kelly attended City of London Magistrates’ Court in Central London for eight weeks as a visitor, during which time he observed the daily events in one courtroom. The UK’s Criminal Justice Act forbids all recording and sketching in court, allowing illustrators to only take notes; Kelly employs this restricted form of recounting as both a structural and poetic device for his work. In a world of ubiquitous image production and ready access to information, these courts of law are peculiar places. They force representations to be made on the basis of abstract observation and memory, generating images that are constituted by the contradictions of being shared and personal.
In That ends that matter, the eight-minute, three-channel video is constructed of a re-enactment of actual events which the artist witnessed in court; photographic material from online image streams used to retell the sensed experience of those events; and a visual music animation where geometric shapes copied from these re-enactments are drawn directly onto the optical soundtrack of 16mm film to produce a score.
Curtains hung between the gallery space and outdoor courtyard resemble the courtroom curtains in colour and weight, however small circles are cut out of the fabric – further echoing themes of surveillance and abstraction which are inherent in the exhibition.
That ends that matter An installation by Jean-Paul Kelly 29 September – 26 November 2016 Delfina Foundation, 29/31 Catherine Place, Victoria, SW1E 6DY