Price, Elizabeth [Artist] (2016) A RESTORATION. .


A RESTORATION is a twenty minute, two channel digital video, intended for projection installation. It was commissioned through the Contemporary Art Society Museum's award, to enable an artwork to be made in response to the photographic collections of the Ashmolean and the Pitt Rivers Museums, Oxford. The work was exhibited at the Ashmolean in March 2015. It has subsequently been exhibited at Monash, Victoria, Australia, ISAW, NYU, New York, US. Chicago Institute of art, US; and Adam Gallery, Wellington, New Zealand. A RESTORATION is presented on two, closely adjacent, horizontal screens that together provide a 32:9 format ratio. This wide space is used to explore the vast photographic and graphic archives of the Ashmolean Museum and Pitt Rivers Museums in Oxford, respectively museums of art and antiquities; anthropology and ethnography. During the course of the work the viewer is shown a selection of drawings and photographs drawn from the two collections. These are unified by their function and status rather then their form or content. They are all images created in the service of other museum artefacts, made during processes of excavation, collection, cataloguing, curation and restoration. Given the long established nature of the collections in question many of these functional images are now significant historical artefacts in their own right. They include within them, drawings, prints, glass plate and analogue photography as well as all the generations of digital photography unto and including contemporary 3D CGI. This attention to the significance of the documentation itself, rather than its subject allows the attention of the video to migrate through all the categories of the museum, and allows a highly particular tour through the collections. This is also justified by the fictional premise of the work, that it is narrated by a chorus of administrators engaged to organise the image-archive of the museum. They lead us from the plans of ruined Knossos to a 3D CGI model of a Jacobean wine glass, via every single drinking vessel in the two collections.

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