Clare Langan powerfully cultivates introspection, where poetic atmospheres and elegiac landscapes, capture the very nature of our fragile existence against the perpetual forces of nature. Metamorphosis, 2007 is a new film work by Clare Langan, recalling the acclaimed series A Film Trilogy, 1999-2002. Langan uses the camera as an instrument to capture the reverabarion of something that has disappeared. It depicts a world in an unrelenting state of transformation and motion, as it shifts between scenes of stormy landscapes to snow filled interiors, from frozen glacial surroundings to violent seas.
Metamorphosis deals with issues of cinematic off time, but here time becomes specific, as we see a suspended time of social history. Langan’s work investigates an empty cityscape whose streets are errierly absent of its inhabitations. The storm leads us into snow filled interiors, with only flashes of it’s former inhabitants to suggest a human presence, but not leading to any definitive conclusions as to their fate. Snow falls through empty deserted rooms; a table set for dinner is left untouched under a blanket of falling snow; a man sits transfixed in front of a TV, all re-inforce a fleeting echo of time passed. From the silence of these rooms which nature has claimed back, we are lead outside to a stark frozen world. Ice permeates every frame. Glaciers fade info cascading frozen water evocatively stating that metamorphosis is now complete.
The hybridity of Clare Langan’s practice can be seen with film references that are both historically arresting and diverse, from early black and white glass plate photography and with the beautiful Japanese ink drawings (15th century); this is also merged with an original score by the composer, Jurgen Simpson.
Ultimately Metamorphosis explores our inherent fight for survival in a hostile transitory world. In this cyclical film, the intrinsic order of nature, through its’ destructive forces and ultimate redemption is evident in the films sequencing. As the earth is claiming back, recovering from itself, from mankind. Metamorphosis is shot in a mixture of created environments, maquettes (built by the artist), along with actual landscape. There is no clear line between reality and created environments. This, along with Langan’s familiar use of exquisite hand –painted filters, creates a physically powerful visual dynamic in the film, a world that is both familiar yet beautifully unreal.
Langan has always exploited the cinematic quality of her work in it’s presentation. Much attention is given to creating a cinematic space both in terms of image projection, sound, and the architecture of the space. It will be exhibited as a large projected installation where the screen shape will reflect the anamorphic format in which the film was shot. The sound system will be 5.1-surround sound.