Rachel Rose: Palisades at Serpentine Sackler Gallery (1Oct to 8 Nov 2015) Review

Rachel Rose: Palisades at Serpentine Sackler Gallery (1Oct to 8 Nov 2015)


Walking into the Serpentine gallery from Hyde Park, you are immediately struck by the installation before you. All that is visible are a collection of speakers of various heights and sizes circling the gallery space placed on top of a luxurious blue carpet. The speakers play various everyday noises in stereo, (whistles of the wind, a heart beat, yawning), and creates an immersive environment. The main part of this site-specific installation consists of two video based works, “A Minute Ago” and “Palisades in Palisades” although the work is not limited to simply video.


“A Minute Ago” 2015

“A Minute Ago” considers the relationship of glass (primarily in architecture) to collage and how “the glass window itself collages the image outside with the image inside” – Rachel Rose. As well as its ability to flatten different distances together. The large glass screen of the projection is suspended slightly of the floor in the middle of the first room, the nature of projection and the glass screen means the projection is flipped on the other side of the glass forming a mirror image that successfully mimics the internal and external views from a window.


“Palisades in Palisades” 2015

Both videos address questions of inside and outside. “Palisades in Palisades” was filmed in Palisades Park, New Jersey. The park sits on an ancient, 200 million year old cliff, Rose incorporates images from the parks geological and social history into the piece, she uses ‘Trompe-l’œil’ editing, matching shots to shots and organizing the shots so the would mimic one another creating uncertainty as to which things are situated where and what date are time is being projected. The live action shots of the video piece are filmed using a remote controlled camera rig as a result the shots are smooth ad continuous as they move from wide shots depicting a large area of the park to detailed shots of the figures top showing every last fiber of the material. Rose describes this as “a metaphor for the relationship to time. That things that are very far away seem like images of themselves,” whereas “when they are then close up or in the present they become a pure essential material.”

The interchanging between the live action and the historical elements to the video create the illusion of thought and focus mimicking the process undergone when trying to understand all aspects of this scene. Shots appear strange, magnified to the point of un-recognition, some with a filter over them resembling fibres/ dirt trapped in a microscope or the little black floating dots you see in through your eyes if you focus.

The use of sound at times almost has a comical effect, a fabricated click when an eyelid blinks, has element of cinematic ‘Foley’. But for the most part the audio creates an immersive environment tying “Palisades in Palisades” and “A minute Ago” together so the outside of the latter becomes the inside of the former, as well as bringing them together with the world beyond the gallery.


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