Notes on Gesture (for H.C.)

34 framed black-and-white photographs

This work continues my long-standing fascination with Chris Marker’s 1963 masterpiece, La Jetée. In previous works I have considered the many gestures within the film, frozen within its still images, and this is my interest here, too. I have replicated a number of the poses of the main female character — played by Hélène Chatelain, the ‘H.C.’ in my title — especially those in which her hand gestures play an important role; this is further emphasised by my own lack of facial expression. As many of these gestures are made during the scene in the museum — one of great tenderness, and intimacy — a rather unusual effect is created. Smiles and soft glances are replaced by closed lips and blank stares; love is replaced with melancholy.

This work was made with the assistance of Emma Smith during a week-long residency with Siobhan Davies Dance as part of ‘Station to Station’ at the Barbican.