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Research staff profile: introducing…Elizabeth Price

Tell us about yourself

Elizabeth PriceI am a practicing artist living and working in London.  Over the last few years I have exhibited at the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, the British Art Show 2011; Chisenhale Gallery London; The Stedelijk, Amsterdam, The New Museum, New York; Julia Stoschek Collection, Düsseldorf; The Swedish Contemporary Art Foundation, Stockholm; Kunsthalle Winterthur, Switzerland and the Musée d'art Contemporain de Montréal. Recently I curated a large scale trans-historical touring exhibition, in collaboration with Hayward Touring, which was presented at the Whitworth, Manchester and De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill on Sea.

Over the next few years I am working on a commission for the Natural History Museum, Berlin and a solo exhibition for The Walker, Minneapolis, and Nottingham Contemporary. I was born in Bradford, and grew up in Luton, Bedfordshire, attending Putteridge Comprehensive High School. I studied for a BA in Fine Art at the Ruskin school of Art, Oxford, and then went on to postgraduate study at the Royal College of Art and the University of Leeds.

What is your current research focused on?

I work in the field of contemporary art moving image. I use high-definition digital video incorporating live action, motion graphics, 3D computer animation and sound. The videos I make are narratively structured, and usually combine multiple social and cultural narratives, as well as fictions in the course of a single work. They are not fully linear, usually employing looped or cyclical presentation, and are intended to be exhibited in installation, incorporating a specifically designed audio-visual viewing environment.

The moving image projects and artworks I have concluded in the period between 2006 and 2014 are all developed from existing cultural and historical materials and objects. That is to say, all of the imagery, the text/narration, the sounds and the melodies that occur in the videos are found, or derived from existing cultural objects. I use the manifold technical possibilities of digital, moving-image editing and post-production processes to bring these graphic, textual, sound and image artefacts together. My objective in composing narratives that embark in social, cultural and scientific histories, but migrate into fiction and fabulation, is, in part, a means by which the very different - even dissonant - elements and histories of the work's materials might coalesce in intensely concentrated, analytic and affective ways.

What are you passionate about?

My specific interest in image artefacts has predominantly been in collections of photography, and in archives or 'types' of film and analogue video production (for example: BBC news footage in film; pop music performance recordings and promos in film and analogue video). I am particularly interested in images that have migrated through series of contexts and technologies: for example a pop-music performance produced in film, subsequently commercially distributed in analogue video, subsequently digitised at low resolution for streaming and informally distributed via the internet. The resulting material retains evident artefacts and traces of all these contexts and technologies, which extend into my own subsequent digitisation and digital manipulation of the materials.

Whilst I would situate my interest in using existing materials, in a relation to legacies of conceptual art, institutional critique, and artists' interventions in archives, my uses of such materials differs considerably from the reductive approaches normally associated with these projects. I do not remain consistently distant, but intervene quite emphatically manipulating images, and supplementing them with fabulation, and with immersive, amplified sound. My interest in so doing is in part a riposte to the formal and intellectual inertia that is one unfortunate legacy of so-called critical, conceptually driven art. But also, and more importantly, it is an acknowledgement of a wider cultural sphere of reference incorporating literary and visual surrealism, pop art, popular music, literary fiction, pulp novels and cinematic melodrama, horror and supernatural science-fiction. It is both possible, and exciting, I think, to use a Buzzcocks record to help you think about minimal abstraction, or to use a ghost story to help you understand the strange, categorical distinctions of a museum - or vice versa.

What is the best thing about researching at Kingston University?

The Research Culture in Kingston School of Art is highly innovative and exciting to be a part of.

Find out more about Dr Elizabeth Price on her staff profile page.

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