TIME OUT - Nov 11-18 1998

Art Preview

written by Martin Herbert

A quandary: do you visit the LEA after dark to see Tracey Emin ride into a seaside sunset, or go during the day for some excellent video art? Emin's piece is deeply cathartic - for her, that is. Four projections show a panoramic view of Margate beach beneath an egg-yolk sky. Emin rides past on a donkey like a low-rent Marlboro Man, then sneers to camera her payback for having to work the donkey rides in adolescence. It wasn't our fault, Tracey. Hilariously brassy, though.

Dryden Goodwin's work offers more. With a soundtrack of opiated tinkling and arrhythmic beats, four overhead screens play footage of anonymous individuals filmed on various modes of transport (escalators, trains, planes). Drama is created by juxtaposing them with random scenes; a man in the woods opposes a young girl, a grinning youth faces down respectable gents. Computer manipulation - removing frames and occasional reversal - creates a lovely digital blurring redolent of the dislocations of travel - sights glimpsed on the wing.

Similarly exchanging narrative for flux, Clio Barnard montages and distorts with video feedback the scenes from porn films which, she reckons, are the psychological triggers to arousal - not cum-shots, but those where individuals get into unfamiliar situations. It is like being inside the mindset of the dirty mac brigade and, presented in morally neutral fashion, is both seductive and disturbing.

In piquant contrast, Smith/Stewart offer heavy breathing, played over a wall-projection of footage filmed by a tiny camera inside someone's mouth - teeth silhouetted against white space. Heaving and eventually screaming, the subject sounds terminal. The piece is an object lesson in kinaesthetic art; it goes straight into the body and leaves you gasping.