During her two years at Trondheim, Kezia Pritchard has worked with drawing, video and installation. She has been using these media to identify uneventful but persistent mental figures: sensations or situations remembered from dreams, short sequences from film or television that for some reason have imprinted themselves on us.
She acknowledges the difficulty of holding on to the fleeting moments that transform a seemingly inconsequential scrap of visualised movement into a recurrent feature of our inner life. She also tries to apply Roland Barthes' notion of the punctum, formulated as part of his discourse on still photography, on the moving image. What qualities make certain images 'stick'? Is there something in the image itself that seeks out our attention and causes our memory to function selectively? If so, can it be isolated and studied separately?
Pritchard has constructively narrowed down her work to a series of attempts at analysing such elusive imagery. She wants to isolate short sequences of movement so that viewers can test and manipulate them at various speeds and formulate a conscious understanding of their constituent parts. For this she uses the zoetrope, a viewing device invented in the early 19th century. It Find's Me I-III, the work presented at the graduation exhibition, consists of three such simple machines. They are black cylinders with vertical slits suspended from a low ceiling and hand-cranked by viewers, and they show three very short clips from footage that the author remembers from her childhood: one film about a chimney-sweeper boy, one introduction to a children's science programme on television and one advertisement.
The narrative content of these extracts is not explained, although there is just enough of it to arouse curiousity in the viewer. If there is no curiousity and nothing to capture it, all talk of the punctum is beside the point. Kezia pritchard's work manages to unite the appealing crafted materiality of the zoetrope, the allure of the memory-image, the intrigue of shared popular-culture references distilled to a bare minimum and viewers' delight at becoming participants and performers at their own pace, without being exposed to the low-intensity coercion of overtly participatory aesthetics. The only critical remark I can think of to 'puncture' her quite remarkable achievement is that the overall effect is perhaps just a little bit too convincing in its combination of the machinic and the organic, just a little bit too meaningful in its articulate meaninglessness. But if she wants to, she will always be able to introduce one or two corrective glitches retroactively.
Exhibitions Curator, Lunds konsthall