Richard Healy ‘Lubricants & Literature’ at Tenderpixel

I was underwhelmed by the precarious nature of Richard Healy’s sculptural work, I wanted to flick through the glossy magazines that levitated in the space as I felt the presentation of only their front and back covers simply neglected their ridiculous content that could have been opened and discussed. It is the video work ‘Lubricants & Literature’ shown in the basement that I feel is necessary for me to think about in more depth.

The digitally designed visuals have been expertly crafted, creating an unrealistically clean aesthetic. Using digital methods to create virtual spaces in which to make videos is something that I previously experimented with as a way to try and comprehend these super-new technologies. This virtual space allows streamlined camera movements that are not aligned to the limitations of the human body, the camera or ‘view point’, is able to float through space and defy normal rules of physics and the same can be applied to the objects recorded.

The slow paced narrative and sound design eased me into the video work, which explores themes of sexuality and cults, but I never felt overwhelmed or surprised by it. At times I felt a little confused and perhaps even a little annoyed (where is this going, why is he saying that?!), but the sleek visual dimension to this work kept me absorbed throughout.

Richard Healy – ‘Lubricants & Literature’ installation view

I found it also important for me to take note of how the video was presented in the space. The space was dark enough for the viewer to be immersed into the work, and the benches provided well-needed comfort to accompany the 8 minute video. Behind the large flat screen monitor was a neon pink strip light, which provided the monitor with an artificial halo that mimicked the videos digital aesthetics.

I have been attracted to experiment more with using 360 technologies to create landscapes and experiences, either through 2D video or 360 headsets. I think this could be a really important place for my work to go, as it is the exact opposite to what I want to focus on in a lot of ways. 360 technologies show our absolute disconnection from reality, we are so disconnected that we want to escape from this dimension solely into our own designs, leaving all traces of our animalism behind.