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Basking in what feels like ‘An Ocean Of Grace’ I soon realise that I am not looking at it but rather that I AM it, recognising myself.

Emily Wardill

UK, 2006
7 minutes, col, Optical
Original format: 16mm film
Available formats: 16mm

In Basking in what feels like ‘an ocean of grace’, I soon realise that I’m not looking at it, but rather that I AM it, recognising myself, instead of taking a symbol that was constructed ideologically then applied to reality, she took the setting of the ‘focus group’ and used its surface as an example. The participants were speaking, but they became images. Emily Wardill used computer software to compose music that would appear symmetrical when seen laid out as sheet music. The middle of the music, where it began to play inverted, would be the middle of the film that the music was written for. Rhythmical and mathematical to the point of irrationality, the film attempts to become a resistant image in itself. Mocking the idea of representation as a token, as a replacement rather than a tool of involvement, she wanted to ask: “if the object of ideology becomes sublime, what is the relationship of the image to that which is represented?”
But she wanted that question to be an ocean.
This is the first of two films looking at the way in which the personal becomes represented. Exploring the ‘focus group’ and the ‘psychological case study’, historically and in the present day, Wardill continues her interest in the exemplary and the symbolic.