Wait (2000)
5 screen video installation with soundtrack

The multi-screen video installation Wait takes as its starting point the dramatic tension that surrounds the build up towards the moments when the last millennium changed into the present one. The work explores the continual universal desire to find significance and look constantly for the moment of change. Goodwin captures images of individual's participating in real-life situations, some mundane some more significant, such as a football fan waiting for his team to score, a groom waiting to say "I do", or a relative waiting at an airport arrival gate. The tri-parteid emotional structure of each of these events -anticipation, realisation and aftermath - is used by Goodwin as the blueprint to set up a matrix of emotional states.

The projections of these individuals are in cropped close-up, focusing on their facial expressions and reactions. With a reduction of contextual reference points the imagination of the spectator is activated as they try to assimilate and understand the transformation of feelings that the individual undergoes. Goodwin interferes with these durations of time, exploring the ways our mind can bend time depending on our condition. When we 'will' a moment to come quicker, time appears to pass more slowly; yet if we seek to prolong a moment we become acutely aware of the speed at which it passes. By subverting the linear drama of these events through digital manipulation, Goodwin makes time more elastic. After stretches of time just waiting, we jump back and forth over the threshold of the critical moment, accentuating the dramas of the people we are looking at and involving our innate fascination and curiosity for other people.

As with a number of Goodwin's recent works, Wait manipulates the relationship between the viewer and the viewed through the use of the zoom of the video camera to set up a singular contact between the two that is a strange balance between distance and intimacy. Spatial distance and optical proximity create an effect that goes beyond documentation giving the viewer a powerful sense of personal involvement as the camera becomes a psychological probe.

Wait has evolved as the third part in a trilogy of video installations, including About (1998) and Within (1998). Each investigates the dynamics of urban public environments exploring the way we look at others and are in turn watched ourselves.

As the spectator of Wait moves around and amongst the suspended groupings of screens, they are able to interact at close-quarters with the various micro-narratives occurring simultaneously. The images are set within a multi-layered soundtrack of Goodwin's own composition. The elements of the soundtrack, its recurring, shifting cycle of development, crescendo and recapitulation act as a counter point both of compliance and contradiction to the structuring of the pictures. Between the visual and aural are possibilities for extended fictions evolved from the original slices of fact.

Originally commissioned for 'Video Positive-The Other Side of Zero' - Tate Liverpool, 2000

Direction, Production, Camera, Editing and Sound - Dryden Goodwin

Stills from Wait