ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
Rae Davis' artwork blends silence and
By Katy James
Exhibit: Rae Davis: Works 1959-2003
Location: Museum London
Dates: Now through Jan. 11
Museum London's newest exhibit, featuring a cross-section of
video and computer installations and other multi-media inspired
pieces, was created by Rae Davis between 1959 and 2003.
Most of Davis' work is accompanied by some sort of video or
computer projection. "Cataract" (1992) includes one monitor
which displays the torrential waters of Niagara Falls, while
a second monitor projects a more peaceful sky-scape image. In
between the two monitors is a sheet billowed out by a fan placed
behind it, with random images projected upon it.
For Davis, the experience of "Cataract" is comparable to the
shift between chaos and order; the running water versus the
still sky with an out-of-focus image and a confused yet intriguing
Another piece works with a similar theme of chaos: the video
installation entitled "Chromatic Fall" (1969/2000) involving
a huge screen with a continuously moving ribbon of slowly fading
colours overwhelmed by a voiceover of random dialogue. The voiceover
is extremely loud and rather cumbersome and distracts viewers
from the entire exhibit. After the colours on the screen have
faded completely white and the sounds have melded into a static
roar, a sharp silence follows and the screen stops completely.
In sum, the video images of the exhibit were fairly juvenile
but the writing in all the voiceovers was incredibly provoking
and could exist alone without any associative images at all.
It seems that a theme for Davis between 1959 and 2003 has been
a shifting vision of society and its noise. Davis does, however,
remind her viewers it is possible to find peace and construct
silence in the midst of the chaos.