To Fall Standing features a video gun and stop-motion photographs in an interactive installation reminiscent of the shooting gallery at the carnival. A tiny video surveillance camera has been fitted into the barrel of an 1880’s shotgun in conscious reference to the photographic machine gun designed by renowned French physiologist Etienne-Jules Marey in 1882 to capture the sequential movement of bird’s wings in flight.
Considered to be one of the earliest cinematic devices, Marey’s photo-gun (converted from a Colt revolving rifle) could be seen as the first in a lineage to the Gulf War ‘slam-cam’ or missile born camera. “The fact that the renowned scientist Marey cast his experimental apparatus into the form of a weapon of violence (machine guns were devised exclusively for warfare) cannot help but make us wonder: how, in a few decades, did the photographic apparatus evolve from the camera obscura – a roomy and passive receptacle for the faint traces of light – into a bizarre phallic weapon without a projectile?” (DeMarinis, P., Catalogue, To Fall Standing, Artspace, 1993.)
The relationship between guns and the cinematic is made explicit as the viewer is invited to point-and-shoot, simultaneously effecting the strobed, sight-line image which appears on a bank of monitors (video effect designed in collaboration with Steven Jones).
- Rebecca Cummins was born in Iowa, USA, 1957 and has resided in Sydney, Australia since 1986. She is a lecturer at Sydney College of the Arts, University of Sydney and has just completed a 6-month artist-inresidency in London through an Overseas Development Grant from the Visual Arts Crafts Board of the Australia Council.