NEC Display Solutions Client Installation Leisure & Museums
DE LA WARR PAVILION
PROJECTING MOVING IMAGE ARTWORK IN STUNNING HD
To coincide with the London 2012 Olympic Games, Film and Video Umbrella and De La Warr Pavilion presented four newly commissioned moving image artworks on the theme of sporting excellence. With high levels of expectation regarding quality of image and delivery from the artists and the producer, three NEC PA500U projectors were specified to do justice to the stunning HD content in a challenging mixed light environment.
Britain’s premier commissioners of artists’ filmand video work, Film and Video Umbrella (FVU), commissions, produces and presents film, video and other moving-image works by artists that are staged in collaboration with galleries, museums and other cultural partners across the UK.
Founded in 1988, FVU has been at the forefront of this vibrant and expanding area of practice, promoting innovation through its support of some of the most exciting figures on the contemporary art scene. FVU has frequently specified NEC projectors and displays in its exhibitions, starting with some of the first multi-screen synchronised playback installations of the late 1990s, building a partnership of trust based on the consistent quality and performance of NEC’s products.
The De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill on Sea in East Sussex is a grade one listed modernist building housing a contemporary art gallery and auditorium. Presenting itself as an icon for the creation, presentation and appreciation of contemporary arts, the Pavilion has spearheaded the cultural regeneration of the south coast economy.
Working in collaboration with top athletes and scientists, four internationally acclaimed artists, commissioned by FVU and De La Warr Pavilion, considers the state of being ‘in the zone’. Everything Flows – the art of getting in the zone ponders the way in which athletes achieve a heightened sense of performance in which body and mind are operating in unison, at maximum impact and with optimum ‘flow’.
Pivoting on a series of sequences of leading British pole-vaulter Kate Dennison, Susan Pui San Lok’s HD video installation Lightness explores the rhythms and psychology of this complex event – its cycles of training and competition, the recycling of past and present to imagine the future. Switching between three separate video screens, the piece follows the nuances of Dennison’s preparations and motivations, in the same way as its shifting angles and camera-perspectives dissect the mechanics of the vault itself. Interspersed with footage of young pole-vault hopefuls in the early stages of training at Lee Valley Athletics Club, Lightness is a meditation on the optimism and confidence that both buoy and sustain the athlete – in an event in which staying up is absolutely paramount.
A number of different video projection works by several artists as well as large scale photographs and a high-brightness LED screens all occupy the same gallery space echoing the experience of being in a stadium where multiple events are taking place simultaneously and spectators’ attention moves from one event to another. To achieve this, however, means high levels of ambient light and changing light conditions are apparent throughout the presentation area making this exhibition more challenging compared to a standard gallery presentation. Mike Jones, Technical Manager at FVU explains: “It is vital that the Lightness triptych can be projected with visual impact in this mixed light environment – punchy brightness has to be combined with great black levels and excellent contrast ratio to do justice to the stunning HD content shot on the Canon 5D Mk II DSLR by Cinematographer Bevis Bowden.” Both the artist and FVU as Producer have extremely high levels of expectation regarding quality of image and delivery.
The NEC Solution
From early on in the planning stage of the exhibition, Mike Jones worked closely with Drew Rogers, Product Specialist at RGB Communications, going through a number of demos and tests on a range of projectors before settling on the NEC PA500U. Jones explains the reasons behind their selection: “The projectors deliver 5000 lumens brightness without throwing away overall picture quality and have a high degree of image adjustment for matching the image across three screens. The standard lens has a great throw range and is interchangeable for future presentations and has a good range of vertical and horizontal shift – extremely useful in the gallery space which has columns and other architectural limitations to the placing of equipment.” Extensive product knowledge and after-sales support from RGB was a contributing factor in the final decision.
Running for three months to coincide with the London 2012 Olympic Games, The NEC PA500U projectors delivered a high quality presentation as part of this innovative, accessible and thought provoking exhibition. Jones comments that “visitors really got ‘in the zone’ with the work on display.” The Everything Flows exhibition was seen by over 60,000 visitors during its commission period which closed on 16th September 2012.
Susan Pui San Lok, the artist whose vision culminated in the HD video installation Lightness, is delighted with the performance of projectors. “I couldn’t have been happier with the quality of the projections. Despite the challenging environment of mixed ambient light levels, the HD images lost none of their richness, depth or contrast and the subtle image adjustment controls allowed us to match up the synchronised sequences perfectly.”
Everything Flows – the art of getting in the zone. Commissioned and curated by Film and Video Umbrella and De La Warr Pavilion. Supported by the Wellcome Trust and Arts Council England.