‘She longs for parallel versions of herself’ is a 6 minute video which explores ideas to do with standing-by, in several senses: being full of readiness and expectation, and having to stay beside, not touching or acting. I wanted to play with the tension between the enforced stasis we have all been subject to under lockdown and the sense of longing it has evoked. The slow-moving diptych reflects the place I find myself in now (London) and the place I have imagined being while on this residency (Belgrade). I set myself the constraint of focusing on one small but impossible gesture: that of opening the door to the Belgrade Art Studio from over 2,000 kilometres away. I used images (moving and still) and sounds recorded in and just outside my own home only. The slow map/leaf image was a way of experimenting with thinking about our nervous system (and sense of touch) as both a real and imagined place.
I have become fascinated by the idea of the door to the Belgrade Art Studio which I cannot open physically, although I can look at pictures of it
I began, as I often do, reading poetry and looking up the definitions and etymologies of particular words. From there I began recording images (photos and videos), sounds and gathering excerpts of texts that resonated with the ideas forming in my head, about having to wait, wanting to touch, and imagining being somewhere else. While experimenting with this collected assemblage of objects, the video emerged.
UNITED KINGDOM I MULTIMEDIA ARTIST
I would describe myself as a hybrid artist, writer and educator. I hope I am led where the work takes me. I am interested in ideas to do with memory and mis-memory, maintenance and enchantment, history, heritage and place (and how all these co-exist). As a practitioner-researcher, I am a firm believer in breaking down the false binaries that separate practice and theory, making and thinking and writing about making. I am currently Reader in Drama, Theatre and Performance at the University of Roehampton. More information and images of my work can be found at www.emilyorley.com.