Signs of Id, November 2016
A historic Light Vessel on the Thames is the venue for the latest emotive installation by artistic duo Furst and Ori exploring themes of danger, fear, control and manipulative science.
Sergei Furst and Francesca Ori, known for their lightboxes and sculptures, have used the function of LV21 as a warning of impending danger to inform their new installation, integrating their works into the machinery and hidden spaces of the ship. In an interconnected series of works they present our obsessive pursuit of scientific truths as Conradian voyages into darkness. Ori and Furst elaborate on the theme using their manual skill in facial expression sculptures imprisoned in aquariums and illuminated narratives and images presented in multilayered lightboxes.
In the gutted engine room at the heart of the boat two short installation films are projected into large air compression chambers. In Leaving Rats on a Sinking Ship, Furst weaves a fictional narrative around the crowding experiments using rat populations run by John B. Calhoun in the 1960s. In Emotional Illiteracy Ori simulates the manipulation of emotions for behavioural ends, and highlights the increasing use of fear as a social tool.
Video by guest artist Dan Wootton and sounds by Berlin-based electronic composer Alberto Yusta embellish the discourse. Dan Wootton’s projected short video, Receiver, with a recording of the Shipping Forecast as a backdrop, evokes the anxiety of an unspecified social catastrophe having occurred in an imagined past.Music and sound for the film and ambient background continue Alberto Yusta’s investigations into pure frequency and chance related techniques in composition.
For this exhibition Furst and Ori received an Elephant Trust Award and the exhibition is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Art Council England.