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Elizabeth Price: A Long Memory - Slow Dans, The Whitworth 25th October 2019 – 29th March 2020


In darkness, I sit and watch as the imagery, text and sounds are projected onto large billboard-like screens. Exploring and combining the ideas of memory and history with technological advances, Elizabeth Price’s Slow Dans: Kohl, Felt Tip and The Teachers play.

The Teachers

When I first entered the room Felt Tip was playing. One other person was sat there watching intently at the screens. Clearly this is going to need time to get invested in, and I recommend that you do put aside the time when visiting to sit and watch, as the large bench boxes invite you to do. I found myself observing how the way the screens were presented, in panels next to each other, particularly the two that Felt Tip was projected onto reminding me of inner-city advertising boards. The quick flash of imagery layered with text appears almost slogan like. Comparing the details of 1970s ties to computer data cells interwoven with the ideas of gender and sexual notions.

The Teachers, the newest video of the series, uses four narrators that describe the events of the selective muteness of academics. The organic imagery flows and the reflected symmetry spans across all four panels. Overlaid with sounds, voice-overs and music the video is almost hypnotic. As with most of her works the lines of reality are blurred between past and present, and each video seemingly flows into the next across the room.

The bold striking colours of Kohl is a surprise after watching the other two videos and is different in presentation and style as well. The video has more control about it, with the changing of the images and the text appearing after the sound of a ‘click’ of a mouse. Even the imagery is clear cut and less fluid, almost collage like. Using the photographs of Albert Walker and the National Coal Mining Museum in Wakefield, the narrators tell the story of the abandoned coal mines in an almost poetic fashion.


Slow Dans is only one section of A Long Memory and is well worth your time, and with another three rooms to explore you can spend a morning here viewing the work of Turner Prize artist Elizabeth Price.


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