Beth Collar
Cloaked Output Vol 2:
Spirals of Focus

PREVIEW: Thursday 14 June, 6pm-9pm
EXHIBITION: 15 June—4 August
Friday–Saturday, 12noon-6pm or by appointment

Beth Collar’s research and work often revolves around objects or motifs that have had a role in making societies, making identities, creating images of dominance and telling histories – objects that in many ways are more real, more powerful perhaps, than individuals. Examples of this would be her long-term investigation into the tomb effigy or her work exploring the motif of the tensed, clawed hand, or a more recent concentration on the rippling surface of the male forehead in advertising imagery and beyond.

In this new project, Cloaked Output Vol 2: Spirals of Focus, which explores her preoccupation with the again, rippling surfaces of the cloaks on western, male monumental sculpture, Collar has been collecting footage of historically important people represented in the form of public sculptures. Based on her archive of collected footage from around Europe, the work strings together a thread of white patriarchal power that covers the continent in this ubiquitous, nearly indiscernible form.

The cloak is a recurring symbol in Collar’s work as it represents a medley of fantastic characters from wizards, vampires and superheroes to emperors, hermits and popes. The cloak is thus a situating symbol of powerful historical figures in a certain time, it is reserved for the gendered body and stance, becoming a constant visual anecdote in contemporary urban encounters. The monuments begin to compile a disturbing fetish and remembrance for a past standing counter to all ideas of progress and increasing equality offered in the present day. In this first solo presentation of the extensive archive, selected footage is presented on a totemic screen along with a sound piece.

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