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Michael Wright (UK)

Still from Bulgaria, Video, 2007

Still from China Mirror, Video, 2006

Still from England, Video, 2008

Michael Wright is preoccupied with modifying and editing photography and video sequences to register a more complex reading of experience than the simple chemical magic of photographic realism. Wright’s strategy is focussed on disrupting aesthetic readings and conventions of media-based documentary narrative structures.

In the video China Mirror, an impression of China is formed against the context of globalization and the presence of global iconography. This concern with the relationship between the private, domestic and social is also carried in the sequence It is necessary to have enemies, which draws attention to the correspondences between childhood play, displacement and the social continuum of conflict. In contrast, the film Bulgaria draws attention to the commonality of rural existence, the fecundity of the animal life of the village in contrast with the memorials to the dead.

These short video sequences give visual and audible form to the social undercurrents of each of the places filmed. By their relationship, each sequence provokes reflection on both the otherness and the commonality of experience. The sequences are composed in juxtapositions, either in mirror or multiple planes, so that each image/sequence is placed simultaneously in tension with other image/sequences. Wright describes his work as seeking to provoke the viewer into a poetic or philosophical reading of the commonplace, and the desire to articulate the tension between the interior life of the imagination and the shared experience of social interaction.

He utilizes book format and data projection, constructing installations which provoke the viewer into a proactive and reflective engagement with social and psychological readings of narrative sequence. Within the editing process Wright seeks to generate a tension of readings between still and moving image, sound and silence, actively drawing the viewer into constructing and subsequently reflecting on their own narrative and ethical readings. The meaning of the work in this sense is generated by the viewer’s imaginative ability to construct a narrative in the space between the juxtaposed images and sounds. Wrights installations actively disrupt the passive and voyeuristic mode of witnessing spectacle, seeking to generate both an empathetic reading of subject and critical awareness of our social and psychological relationship to documentary imagery. Wright’s edited sequences draw attention to the contingency of reading and their dependency on our social position and cultural location.

Michael Wright born in Hertfordshire / UK lives and works in London / UK

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