This show, in a former light factory building located on the no-mans land between the City and Shoreditch/Hoxton, is an exhibition of video art and photographs by Ruth Hinkel-Pevzner. Yes, yes, we know, it sounds like an edgy, late 90s, East London Art cliché. Frankly, we weren't expecting to like this show. A significant amount
of video art tends to be badly made short films excused by the 'art' tag. Yet, while the stills produced from the pieces weren't especially exciting, the video art, the main work in the show, grew on us.
Projected onto both sides of five hanging screens in the middle of a long, darkened room were slowed down short clips, predominantly of cars and traffic mined from the Russian State Film Archives, with Nico from the Velvet Undergroundesque narrated voiceovers coming from different sides of the screens. The film had an odd 3-dimensionality with flashes of red, green and blue (we are presuming that the strange, almost lysergic colour thing was a happy accident of digital remastering). It all added together to create a very disorientating experience in keeping with an exhibition with memories and longing as its theme.
We liked this disorientation. It was like trying to piece together how you got where on a heavy night out. Although, as the five clips play sequentially along the panels, forcing the viewer to move along screen by screen, it was a marvel that this especially clumsy Londonista didn't fallover or bump into anyone!
By Oliver Gili
The Car, Ruth Hinkel-Pevzner is at the Nicholls & Clarke Building 3-10 Shoreditch High Street London, E1 6PG until 26 May 2008.
Image is a still from The Car, a five-screen video installation by Ruth Hinkel-Pevzner, 2008. Courtesy the artist.