D a v i d  H a l l

gallery 3

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The five 'gallery' pages show a small selection of work from the last forty years. Most of the quotes are extracted from texts listed in the bibliography page.

Vidicon Inscriptions, videotape 1973 and installation 1975

Installation first shown at the Video Show, Tate Gallery, London 1976, and at Video: Towards Defining an Aesthetic, Third Eye Centre, Glasgow 1976. Developed from a videotape of the same name, 1973/74

Over-lighting exceeds capacity for assimilation in a 1970s video camera and images are 'burnt' into the surface of its tube. Here a unique property is discovered where both the passage of time and trace of that continuum are registered as one. A section of the original tape version records the image of the artist with a camera (via a mirror) panning, by stages, across the screen. Before movement the lens is covered and re-exposed after the change, and each time the image appears to be inscribed onto the screen. In the interactive installation a camera registers the live passage of time through a translucent polaroid shutter. Periodically the shutter lifts - triggered by the participants' movements - and images are fixed and inscribed.


'..Here preserved are the poignant traces of ghostings, where the mugging of participants has at once the presence of improvisation and yet is already caught in a moment, simultaneously, of capture and decay. The work is about the materiality of the screen technologies of the day, for sure. It is also, especially in retrospect, an elegy for the passing of time - the time of the gesture as it fades from the screen, the time of technologies that have their moment and pass away'. Sean Cubitt, Greyscale Video and the Shift to Colour, Art Journal, Fall 2006.

This is a Television Receiver 1976

Commissioned by BBC TV as the unannounced opening piece for their Arena video art programme, March 1976. Programme produced by Mark Kidel, conceived by Anna Ridley and presented by David Hall


'Richard Baker [the well known newsreader] describes the essential paradoxes of the real and imagined functions of the TV set on which he appears. The second shot is taken optically off a monitor, the third copied from the second, and so on, until there is a complete degeneration of both sound and image, removing the newsreader from his position of authority...' Tamara Krikorian, Art Monthly, February 1984.


'This figure of authority is reduced to what, in essence, he is - a series of pulsating patterns of light on the surface of a glass screen. In this way, paradoxically, the verbal statement is realised by its own disintegration, along with that of the image. The illusion of both transparency and of power are shattered. This is deconstruction in its primary, irreductable form; only by remembering these important lessons have artists subsequently been able to venture out of the enclosure of self-reflexivity and into the perilous world of representation and narrative...' Mark Wilcox, Deconstruct, Subverting Television cat., Arts Council of Great Britain 1984.

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David Hall in Edge 1972

a film made with Tony Sinden

Copyright © the authors and Debi Hall