Maria Luigia Gioffre / Drown of origin






A 9.34 mins length film installed (as well as suggested by Suky while curating) under light conditions in order to explore the use of projections within an illuminated gallery-space rather than a dark one.

“Drown of origin” looks at simulacra, time, water and pollution. 


Ben Lansky on Benjamin Lansky

My install for 7 March 2016 was initially inspired by the photographs in newspapers and the many advertisements I see plastered around London. These images, whether plastered on the side of a bus or crumpled and laying in a puddle in the underground, always seem to have a certain three dimensionality to them. Depending on my perspective (looking over someone’s shoulder at a newspaper, watching a billboard recede from the second story of a bus) the images would look different. I began to think of ways of exploring this in the context of my art practice.

When first coming to London I was fascinated by the sheer volume of free newspapers consumed on a daily basis. Making my way through the city’s transit system I would see hundreds of people pick up newspapers and many discarded ones blanketing walkways. I began picking up a newspaper on a regular basis just to thumb through it and look at the photographs, occasionally reading an article or two in the process. After a few weeks of this I began to have recurrent images of the same photographs in multiple settings: in my own reading, under someone’s arm, on the seat of a train or wrinkled in a bin. I began to think about the malleability of an image.

With the growing collection of newspapers I had at home I spent an evening rephotographing images playing with perspective as well as physically folding and crumpling them. After rephotographing these images from multiple angles, I then “auto-aligned” them in Photoshop. This process is quite powerful and ends up warping the images in various ways. The resulting aligned images could then be turned into an animation showing the distortion and various perspectives in repetition.

I have also been seeking out advertisements around London and photographing them in the same manner as the newspapers: changing my perspective and auto-aligning them in Photoshop. Advertisements cover practically every blank space in London: bus stops, construction sites, trucks and buses. Sign installers have found ways of filling every nook and cranny with imagery. One can find an image in, over, around, and through grates, gates, taxis and toilets. This almost spray-like effect means that, in some instances, depending on the perspective, images will not look as they were intended.

The resulting animations end up making two dimensional things appear three dimensional and three dimensional things appear two dimensional. Narrow poles with images wrapped around them and corrugated metal sheets lose their depth while the images on them gain a new dimension.

Enjoying the results I was getting from the rephotographed advertisements and newspaper images, I wanted to continue dealing with perspective and the dimensionality disruption. However, I didn’t want to bring things from outside the gallery space into the gallery. I wanted to take advantage of the viewer’s surroundings within the exhibition space and use these surroundings to reveal my perspective. I toyed with the idea of incorporating the images I was creating into the space but felt I needed a simpler approach. Eventually I decided to just photograph the space itself. Once photographed I would then reinsert these photographs at near life-size in their original space. I brought along a measuring device to insert in the images to make the resizing easier. During the process I realized bringing the ruler into the space became an interesting comment in its own right. Not only does this standard of measure change depending on the perspective from which I take the picture and the changes produced through attempting to print it at life size, but the ruler itself can have its own inaccuracies.


Images: Ben Lansky

End, Middle, Beginning by Anne Sexton

There was an unwanted child.
Aborted by three modern methods
she hung on to the womb,
hooked onto I
building her house into it
and it was to no avail,
to black her out.

Anish Kapoor, Cloud Gate, 2006

At her birth
she did not cry,
spanked indeed,
but did not yell-
instead snow fell out of her mouth.

Ron Mueck, Dead Dad, 1996-1997; A Girl, 2006

As she grew, year by year,
her hair turned like a rose in a vase,
and bled down her face.
Rocks were placed on her to keep
the growing silent,
and though they bruised,
they did not kill,
though kill was tangled into her beginning.


Anish Kapoor, Past, Present, Future, 2006

They locked her in a football
but she merely curled up
and pretended it was a warm doll’s house.
They pushed insects in to bite her off
and she let them crawl into her eyes
pretending they were a puppet show.


Louise Bourgeois, The Femme Maison, 1946-1947

Later, later,
grown fully, as they say,
they gave her a ring,
and she wore it like a root
and said to herself,
‘To be not loved is the human condition,’
and lay like a stature in her bed.

Louise Bourgeois, Femme Maison, 1994

Then once,
by terrible chance,
love took her in his big boat
and she shoveled the ocean
in a scalding joy.


Francesco Albano, ON THE EVE, 2013

love seeped away,
the boat turned into paper
and she knew her fate,
at last.
Turn where you belong,
into a deaf mute
that metal house,
let him drill you into no one.


Antony Gormley, HOME, 1984