For the artist responsible for the Pissing Women series, in which she urinated in Vauxhall wearing posh clothes, photographer Sophy Rickett’s latest show is a far more cultured affair.
The centrepiece of her exhibition, which opens today at London’s Brancolini Grimaldi gallery, is Auditorium, a 22 minute long video installation commissioned by Glyndebourne opera house.
Auditorium takes a highly original approach to documenting the theatre, focussing on the architecture, space, staging and lighting, rather than the people and personalities of the performances. The musical score is by composer Ed Hughes.
Brandei Estes, London director of the Brancolini Grimaldi gallery, says, ‘Although you hear music and the orchestra and singers, you don’t see any of the music. There’s a lot of movement backstage of the mechanics of the theatre and the stage, but there’s also a void – you only see one person.
‘It’s really about Glyndebourne as a space, but the theatre is the protagonist and subject of the film, where usually you’d look at the production.’
Like much of Rickett’s work, Auditorium explores the ideas of what can be concealed and revealed.
Estes adds, ‘She uses the light to highlight different areas of the building and the structure, so when you start, you see the curtain raised – you think you’re in the audience – and by the end you realise you’ve been on stage, and you see the auditorium empty.’
The other work on show includes silver gelatin prints of the Glyndebourne space, as well as a number of unrelated works, untied in their conceptual bias and explorations of photography’s inherent abilities to at once conceal and reveal.
Sophy Rickett: Auditorium and Selected Works runs from 7 July – 27 August at Brancolini Grimaldi gallery, 16 Percy Street, London W1T