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Kit Wise

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detail from Nocturne, installation, 2003
detail from Nocturne, installation, 2003
Nocturne is an installation of variable dimensions. Professionally produced illuminated signs, similar to those used to advertise fantastical meals in noodle bars, are mounted in front of a continuous open light-box. This creates a seemingly 360 degree cityscape as seen by night, installed as a square within the darkened space. The square runs along the walls of the gallery, and across its width on simple wooden scaffolding similar to that used for advertising hoardings.The image has been composed from around 500 found images of cities by night, down-loaded from the Internet. These represent a mixture of tourist snaps, the efforts of amateur photographers and municipally commissioned publicity shots.

Nocturne, installation, 2003
Nocturne, installation, 2003
In Nocturne, perspectives shift and merge, formal elements of colour and shape being used to unify views into compositions that seem almost but not quite plausible. Disparate locations are therefore linked in what could be a form of meta-sculpture, manipulating space through the re-distribution of topography, resulting in what is perhaps best described as ‘hyperplace’.This may not be a million miles from the everyday experience of walking through any CBD (but something that particularly struck me on arrival in Australia): encountering a Turkish coffee shop followed by a Thai restaurant and then an Iranian haberdashery next to an American burger chain. I was again reminded of struggling with a foreign language; and it being pointed out to me that despite the rules of the grammar, native speakers often ignore the complex but crucially important endings of Latinate words in conversation. Sentences became compressed, word-endings devoid of reference to subject or speaker - reconstructed in ‘impossible’, imploded combinations: a kind of vernacular post-structuralism where the shaky reality of context is all there is to go by.

The evolution of language through common usage is perhaps the best guide we have to the development of contemporary culture. My intention with Nocturne was to use the bewilderment and fascination of the émigré coming to turns with a new signifying system as a mechanism for considering that system: an attempt to document for example the nauseous experience at the end of a long flight of the familiar and the exotic being thrown together in the crude cocktail of jetlag - the result of 30 hours spent looking out of the window of a plane; the night expanding in slow-motion; familiar and then alien cities appearing below, made equal, de-politicised from the accelerated viewpoint. To observe the perceptual experience of place stretched to breaking point, as time zones melt away and attention waxes and wanes; sometimes spending longer looking at a fabled city, sometimes seeing nothing but abstract constellations of dispersed lights in brief hallucinogenic moments between sleep.Extracts from Kit Wise - Nocturne.April 2003 .
Nocturne, installation, 2003
Nocturne, installation, 2003


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