Blurring Contour | Helen Anna Flanagan
Blurring Contour by Helen Anna Flanagan is an excerpt from a video work Flanagan shot in a nightclub in Essex, UK.
It is a synesthetic and paradoxical narration of clubbing in which the immersion in the atmosphere mediated by the video camera is total. It is synesthetic because the different tactile and visual textures that follow one another in this very short work convey a syncopated alternation of hallucinogenic surfaces and perspectives; it is paradoxical, or at least apparently, because the most characteristic feature of the situation that the video displays is the sound, which in Blurring Contour is totally lacking. Perhaps, however, the absence of sound would not be necessary to define more clearly the contours of this experience that evidently must be accomplished alone, isolated, separated from one’s own context. For many reddit users, the practice of “alone clubbing” – attending music club nights alone – and thus indulging the sense of alienation derived from the frenzy of music and atmosphere, is the only way to enjoy the music to the full: in the moment of maximum involvement, maximum volume and silence coincide.
The method underlying Helen Anna Flanagan’s research consists of observing small fortuitous events in everyday life. These episodes become part of fictional narratives that take the form of installations, performances and video. By constructing and imagining scenarios – often absurd – the artist tries to investigate the social structures and the political subtext of everyday life, focusing on affects and emotions, work and body. The absurdity that is always inserted in every work often coincides with the narrative point of view and in itself therefore always becomes alienating: in Blurring Contour the fingers that touch the gel are of an elderly hand, it can be seen from the chipped polish on the long nails.
©Helen Anna Flanagan, Blurring Contour, 2021