Cadence and Village (Veil) by Melanie Manchot

  • Daata
  • CDT


    This short video loop starts with a blank page. White. No orientation, scale, dimension. Until the edge of the frame is broken. From an aerial viewpoint we see a dark horse being led into what now reveals itself as a blank snowy landscape. Walking in a circle, it inscribes a trail of footprints into the snow, creating a kind of drawing. After a number of clockwise and anti-clockwise rotations, horse and trainer depart the frame as they entered, leaving behind their inscription, concentric circles printed into the white. The scene is highly formal yet balances notions of nature and human agency. It also offers an echo of previous film works using choreography, dancing and processions.

    Cadence is from Manchot’s ongoing series of ‘mountainworks’ and was first exhibited in the artist’s solo exhibition at Parafin, London, in 2018. One edition is in the Government Art Collection, London.

    Village (Veil)

    Snow is precarious, unstable, elusive. Its aesthetic and symbolic register often refer to notions of the romantic. Snow reduces the colour palette drastically, often turning environments into near black and white. As a material that surrounds other materials it has its own sonic spectrum: fresh snow muffling sounds, cold snow and wet snow creating distinctly different tones. Village (Veil) is a single shot video filmed during a two-week period of intense continuous snowfall in January 2019. Akin to a Breughel painting small figures occasionally populate the expansive white landscape. Over the course of the video’s duration the village gradually disappears behind a veil of snow while the continuous sound of a snow clearing machine reminds us that this is not simply a sublime view but also a site of laborious displacement of snow. This moment of ‘too much snow’ accentuated a tension between entropy and our desire – or need – for control. To keep chaos at bay.

    Presented by Daata and Parafin.