Clem Devine, Sam Trustrum
Number four in the Siren series was a collabortive work by Clem Devine and Sam Trustrum.
The artists set up a living space in the gallery, reminiscent of lounges found in many student accomodation areas. This included a television and video on which was playing a segment from the movie ‘Sirens’. The movie snip was slowed down, manipulating both the image and the accompanying sound. Scenes involving three naked women bathing in a river, a blind man and a sexually inhibted woman were included in the loop. As the sound was slowed the voices took on a groaning lilt, obscuring words and creating a mesmerising soundtrack. Only after repeat viewing did the words become recogniseable.
The work delved into the subject of female sexuality and feminine appeal. The segment of film shown offered an ulterior view of the male gaze, as only the man shown could not see. Instead, a woman was shown intrigues by the naked swimmers, an idea further developed in the lounge set up. The sofa placed in the gallery directly in front of the video screen, and an ideal viewing space, had a sound activated vibrating system installed under the cushion. This vibrator was set off by the voices in the film, causing the cushion to vibrate in shorter bursts. This effectively connected the films’ subject matter to the living roon environment and the viewer. The vibrator an exciting find, particularly to female viewers, echoed the sexual nature of the images. This asped of the piece further emphasised the female viewing role.
The Siren series (August – September, 2000) consisted of five week long exhibitions, with each artist producing a work which springs from their response to the word/concept siren.