Colleen Alborough Fear and Trembling 2011 | | Art in South Africa
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Fear and Trembling 2011 | Unisa Art Collection

Artist statement:

Fear and Trembling is a fantasy video installation that reflects upon contemporary living in Johannesburg. The work depicts a headless character engaged on an endless search through the matted cityscape to find his head.  The presence of historical ghosts and the threat of the environment – a mysterious underground world and darkened city spaces – haunt the character's search for stability.  In mapping an imaginary landscape, the work aims to reflect upon the negotiations and manoeuvres we make within the complex, at times disconcerting and chaotic space of South Africa.  

Empirical data:

Medium: Video Installation, comprised of mixed media: wood, cotton waste, prints: drypoints and monotypes, stopframe animation, physical computing components: arduino uno board, servo motors, solenoids amongst others, and shade cloth.

Dimensions of installation: a room approximately 4,5m * 7m, with one entrance. This work is part of the Unisa Permanent Art collection.

How the installation works:

The viewer enters a darkened room to find a cross section of cityscape gently lit in the middle of the room. An animation plays on the old Drive-In screen on top of the mine dump. The animation reveals a headless figure on a continuous search to find his head amidst a pile of undulating thread. He searches through a series of dismembered body parts in a futile attempt to find his head. Been thrown off balance, he collapses into the earth, falling into a dark, subterranean tunnel. Here, he is chased by formless figures back to the surface of the earth, and his search continues. Whilst this animation plays, animated figures move within the underground tunnels of the sculptural form.

The installation plays independently of viewer movement. It uses physical computing components to activate animated bodies in the subterranean tunnels.

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