William Hunt: Playing the Goat
Crawford Art Gallery is delighted to present two films by Wiliam Hunt as part of the gallery’s continued screening programme of Irish and International artists.
Playing the Goat brings together two films that combined create a fascinating yet awkward tension for the audience. The film A Moment’s Hesitation (2012) takes the form of a documentary interview in which the artist responds to questions regarding his motivation for his work.Hunt’s answers, and his practice, hover between dedicated protagonist and an unnerving commitment to extreme situations. Primarily performance based, Hunt has often tested his body’s abilities under the influence of gravity or other acute physical forces, orchestrating situations in which hesings and plays instruments.
However, the professional discussion collapses into the personal when the artist tells the interviewer about a planned performance to crash a car. The personal becomes apparent as the viewer realises that it is the Hunt’s wife who is the interviewer. What the viewer really witnesses is a couple having an intimate discussion about his ambitions, her fears and their compromise.
Still yourself and calm your boots (2014) is the resultant work posited in A Moment’s Hesitation. Commissioned by PEER, London, Hunttackles velocity and the effect it has on his body bydriving a car at high speed and crashing it into aconcrete barrier, after which he performs a song he haswritten for the occasion. Hunt produces a complex moving image that captures the morbid thrill, confusion and intense physical and psychological effects of a car crash, while also exploring the precarious path between intention and action. The high-definition video footage allows for closer scrutiny of the artist’s body enabling the viewer to analyse in minute detail the physicaleffects of the crash – and his musical performance. Combined the films create an resounding awe and awkwardness shifting between Hunt’s emperical fascination of the physical and the psychological impact of the car crash of not only the artist and his loved ones too, but for the audience too.
William Hunt (born 1977, London, lives and works in Dusseldorf) He studied at The Slade School of Fine Art, and at Goldsmith’s College. Recent projects, performances and exhibitions include Kunstmuseum Stuttgart, Marres (2015); BRA-VOOH BRA-VO! Rotwand, Zurich (2014); Ship, Ship, Slip and Drip at Hunt Kastner, Prague (2014); Playing the Goat, PEER, London (2014); Not Knowing, But Looking at Petra Rinck, Düsseldorf (2014); Paranalia at Siobhan Davies Dance Studio, London (2013); PLAY! Recapturing the Radical Imagination, GIBCA – Göteborg International Biennial for Contemporary Art, Gothenburg, (2013). He is represented by Ibid Projects, London; PetraRinck, Dusseldorf; Rotwand, Zurich.
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