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grafisches Element

Absence of Evidence is not Evidence of Absence

Sarah Forrest »

The video Absence of Evidence is not Evidence of Absence by Sarah Forrest is all reflections, frames and projections, multi-layered and disorientating. Forrest re-filmed her original footage as she played it back in her own flat, so that outdoor scenes lie transparently over reflected shots of the table on which they were edited. The artist herself is an elusive but definite presence on screen; coffee at the ready, laptop open, she is a hand at the mouse, a dim reflection in a blank monitor, standing up to leave.

Mirrors behind mirrors, film catching light... it is hard not to interpret Forrest’s film as a
comment on the strangeness of the creative process. The island setting projects a slightly moody countenance over the work that both fits and creates the tone, but a "twist” of sorts at the end of the story drags you away from the particulars of the place. As Forrest’s voiceover switches abruptly from an address to a command, the viewer is told to “drop your chin and open your eyes. Open them, and look at your reflection. It’s not looking back.”

That disquieting sense of familiar strangeness, of losing control over a reflection, is
recognisable to anyone who’s set about creating something only to find it altered beyond their initial reckoning. Forrest seems to test how hours of local footage might be transformed into something else, with reach and life outside the original frame.

“There’s something behind you and you know exactly what it is. But let me assure you,
you’ve never seen it before.”

(Text by Maggie Gray)

grafisches Element