The Big Storm Is Coming

Installation and performance piece, New Mexico, USA, 2017. Display materials: still print & audiovisual projection.

A woman stands alone in a desert of of pure white sand. She looks on as a menacing storm moves slowly towards her. Despite the looming threat, she stands paralysed behind four mysterious rectangular shapes in the ground. Are they pools? Portals perhaps? Gateways that might allow her to escape? They all appear to differ in their nature. How can she choose one? These strange shapes stand out as alien amidst the homogenous white sand of the desert which sprawls out endlessly before her. Caught in a state of limbo, in a moment of stasis amidst various systems of flux, she stands and waits until finally the storm arrives and engulfs her completely. 

When displayed the piece exists as a still print as well as an audio visual projection played on a loop. The projection consists of the still image combined with a ten minute soundtrack of the final moments of the storm approaching, engulfing the woman and finally leaving; returning the scene back to the state where it began. The vigorous movement of the sound counterpoints the stillness of the image and underlines the sense of paralysis experienced by the figure in the piece. The sound contains all of the movement that is absent in the image and consequently acts as a catalyst for the spectator to participate in his/her own imagining of the motion within the scene. The spectator has the agency to fill in the action of the scene and import their own traumas and personal experience into their viewing of the piece.

Image captured on a Mamiya RB67 using Portra 400.

© Joshua Magor 2018