Heidi Locher is an artist who spent many of her formative years in hotel rooms so it’s only fitting that her latest work combines hotels with representations of the defining moments in life.
The aim was to convert the gallery space into a hotel and though it doesn’t quite pull it off, it all leads in to the main piece of work which is a video installation displayed on three screens. This depicts the three stages of womanhood, from childhood innocence to teenage rebellion and finishing on the release of death.
The use of different colour filters to depict each stage is effective and makes it easier for viewers to engage with it. Add this to the slow motion effects and the fact that all three screens are purposefully asynchronous and the result is a captivating montage.
Despite the video being full of raw emotion there is also an ambiguity to Locher’s work in that a number is projected on the floor of the hotel room that is left unexplained, and it’s unclear whether the final scene is simply a symbolic catharsis or an act of self-immolation.
The most gripping of these vignettes is the teenage section involving the destruction of a hotel room as a metaphor for the turbulence of self-discovery associated with adolescence. After this whirlwind of destruction there is a hypnotic calm as the actress recovers in the shower and water bounces off her body in slow motion.
Close-up stills and furniture from the video are also on display, but these are a sideshow to the video centrepiece which is a beautifully filmed display of emotional outpouring.
Heidi Locher – Hotel Kalifornia is on display at the Londonewscastle project space, 28 Redchurch st, E2 7DP until 27 November. Admission is free.