Suddenly After a Long Silence explores the moments of change and temporal shifts that occur between two defined states. Anthony Shapland's exhibition features a series of documentary-style films that not only observe the 'real' or the 'actual' but also reference notions of staging, scripting and artifice.
New works created for Chapter include False Dawn, a two screen piece that documents a film crew developing a lighting sequence. The revelation of the practicalities involved in creating an illusionary and fictional world for the camera occurs alongside the desire to believe in the end result, as a caged canary greets the 'day' with an optimistic song.
In contrast, A Setting shows the slow descent into real darkness that a city can hold at bay. Filmed in the South Wales valleys, a lone figure watches the encroaching night, away from the relative safety of street lighting. In two long takes, dusk happens in real-time, encouraging you to slow down and prepare for something that we usually rush to shut out ' the dark.
A third film, Last Dance, examines the twilight uncertainty of the city, and charts the moments just before nightclub strip-lights flicker on to signal the end of a night out. Scripted from real-time events, it has been staged with actors to create a carefully annotated mirror of behaviour and interaction, flirting and rejection.
Earlier works in the exhibition include Nocturne ii which looks at the transition between a night out and the start of a working day. A CCTV camera observes the way that a doorway becomes a private space as different groups of people ' from Bunny Girls on a Hen Night to lone males peeing ' use the same area to demonstrate a range of behaviour. The dialogue is scripted on an adjacent screen emphasising the small repetitive acts that flit between emotion and action.
A Sign has its UK debut at Chapter. Filmed from a static viewpoint, the coolly dispassionate eye of the camera observes a discarded Christmas tree that lies abandoned on the side of a road. The tree ignites into flame and eventually burns itself out in an achingly tragic exploration of the search for meaning in everyday life.
All of the works on display hold you in a sort of twilight space, neither day nor night, fiction nor reality. It is here in this playful uncertainty that the work forces you to reconsider the everyday things you feel sure of.