Serpentine Cinema: CINACT is a series of monthly artists' film screenings and events at The Gate cinema in Notting Hill. CINACT takes its name from American artist Henry Flynt's 2007 cinema manifesto. Sawtell has made a new work Entroludes 1-6 specifically for this presentation and the context of the cinema.
Hannah Sawtell's work scrutinises the excess of physical and media based production through objects, text and films. By using generic images and found footage from the digital realm and by setting up semi-archival systems of retrieval, she examines what Levi-Strauss termed 'Entropology'. In doing this she proposes a trajectory that forces a fragile equanimity, as it attempts to reconcile the âhumanâ with the culture of disintegration and over-proliferation.
Sawtell's videos and installations investigate the ways in which form and image are disseminated, interpreted and used. Interrogating how we categorize and respond to the barrage of homogenous and repeated imagery they generate relationships between objects, creating playful but critical dialectical encounters.
DISPLAY WITH SOUND: SIMON DENNY, HANNAH SAWTELL, OSCAR TUAZON
Display With Soundâ 2002 which was titled âShelf Display With Clock Radioâ 2002 at the Whitechapel show âEarly One Morning...â played a sound that was a straight recording onto CD of a 1930s Chinese language lesson collection on vinyl I picked up somewhere in a North London charity shop. âLesson one (in English): o o o a a a (Chinese phonemes) ... Lesson two: u u u i i i ...etc.â I imagined the language analogy would highlight my concerns with form and idiom and the fact of the lesson permeating the space of the gallery would heighten the sense of the real in my displays. I wanted to avoid the emblematic or the gesture, which stands for an ideological position or just simply a novel one; the kind of art that is a sign of liberal inclusion with all its contradictions. I was interested in affect, what the gradual accumulation of the signs would amount to and how this could be directed to keep a space open; an undoing of the symbolic structure of reality.
International Project Space
Hannah Sawtellâs work proposes an engagement with the means of production and the way form and image is disseminated. Works are sometimes deployed as satirical, âSwiftÂŹianâ observations, but often feel like odes to the forced, bittersweet evolution of use value. Sawtell teases out the vacillating beauty and numb homogeneity of the current. With precision and an air of lyricism her work generates relationships between objects, creating balanced but contradictory dialectical encounters.
In âRent (A youth of waste, a life of mess)â Sawtell digitally edits civic sounds (such as a recording of a London shopping centre) and a series of images pulled from Internet product promotions and screensaver palettes. Between each image is a generic animated transition, as those commonly seen on computer slideshow presentations. Into this cyÂŹcle Sawtell introduces methods of interruption, reception becomes stuttered, whereupon a moment of caesura is proposed. The cyclical nature of excess in production is sliced chipped and parted.