Antipodes, 2013, is an ongoing interactive online and photographic project that pairs webcam images from places at opposite ends of the globe. The four per cent of the earth's surface in which land is antipodal to land offers rich terrain for interesting parallels and correspondences. As far away from each other as it is possible to be, their day-for-night, summer/winter contrasts palpable, often extreme, these distant âtwins' (Spain/New Zealand, Hawaii/ Botswana, Brazil/Japan) frequently possess surprising affinities. Having researched multiple webcam sources from myriad locations, Curtis revels in drawing out these points of connection: finding topographical echoes in the landscape, as well as architectural and cultural similarities. A series of photographic diptychs, distilled from the stream of webcam footage, press the point home: highlighting both the distance and the difference between us, but also how online communications and digital technology bring us closer together.
Also included in the exhibition is Tong Tana, 2012. In this video work, Curtis explores the elemental desire to understand environments. She spent four weeks in the rainforests of Borneo with the semi-nomadic Penan, one of the last surviving hunter-gatherer tribes in south-east Asia, and known masters of tracking and hunting. By placing a head mounted camera and binaural microphones on one of the hunters, Curtis captures his journey in a way that would otherwise be unachievable. The viewer adopts the position of the hunter, experiencing a heightened sensory adventure. Tong Tana includes maps drawn by the Penan hunter that plot his route through the rainforest.
Antipodes by Layla Curtis is commissioned by Film and Video Umbrella, in association with Spacex. Technical support by Cuttlefish. Supported by Arts Council England.
Tong Tana is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.
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