A Minor Place

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video and sound
duration: asynchronous loops (4 min cycle)

Stations of the Cross, St Stephen Walbrook, London, 2017
Stations 2020, Arts Chaplaincy Projects, 2020

Laura Moffatt, ‘Stations of the Cross and Resurrection’, Art & Christianity, No 90, Summer 2017
Muriel Zagha, ‘From Psycho to Transcendence’, Elephant, 2017
Stations of the Cross | Stations of the Resurrection, Stations 2017, catalogue, ISBN 978-1-5272-0874-2s 

from the series Stations of the Cross

© acknowledgements:
Wendy and Lucy (2008) 

Commentary by Lucy Newman Cleeve for Stations 2020

The Seventh Station: Jesus falls the second time

This work is constructed from a series of asynchronous loops from Wendy and Lucy by Kelly Reichardt, in which Michelle Williams (also known for her portrayal of the ultimate tragic screen siren, Marilyn Monroe) depicts a young woman whose life is progressively derailed through ill-fortune and dire economic decisions, resulting in separation from her beloved dog Lucy. She is shown sitting still and huddled, with her head covered so that her appearance becomes that of an androgynous homeless beggar. In our present situation, her figure invites identification with the poor and vulnerable who are disproportionally affected by the impact of COVID-19.

A moving camera shot through a forest is superimposed over the top of this, perhaps symbolic of the unconscious realm or impending threat, and the film credits ‘directed by Kelly Reichardt’ appear fleetingly in reverse. The drone like music, remixed from the film’s Will Oldham soundtrack, augments the darkness in the work and provides its title, which is borrowed from another Oldham song ‘A Minor Place’ (1999). Again, Dean uses the film’s credits as a device to reflect on Jesus falling. We are still given the privilege of knowing who is in control, but with the credits reversed, it is less clear. There is a sense in which perspective (of the victim and the viewer) is being lost as the Good Friday narrative draws closer to its climax and Jesus falls the second time.