Maria presented an assemblage of items on a tabletop under the title “THERE.” Some of the items were present in the previous installation, either as they were or at different scales or in different versions, and there were new elements too, in particular a short looped video piece. In it, two images stood side by side. One a classical statue, and the other an image in negative of Maria the model, arm aloft holding the same pose. While looking at the negative image it started to move ever so slightly, and then what appeared to be a still image slid as Maria broke out of pose to switch off the camera.
The discussion afterwards centred on the necessity of the pieces laid out on the tabletop, and whether the video could have been developed on its own. For example, a printed photograph similar to the video was propped up just below it. Perhaps if these two were shown as a pair on their own it might bring out a dialogue between them. As it happened the printed photograph seemed a little lost in the mix.
Maria made the point that she is not addressing one idea but many, and that the items on the table were a kind of map of the different aspects of the experience she wants to explore. If it was presented in a large space, with more room for each piece to be developed, the narrative might become clearer. As it was, I felt the presentation as a whole tried to do too much and diverted attention from the strongest piece, the looped video.
The next stage has to be about making decisions. Are the elements on the table so necessary that they need to be incorporated into the final work (and if so, then which ones and how?), or does it need stripping down to bare essentials, developing the video on its own and presenting it at a larger scale perhaps?