emily richardson is from London and has recently completed an MFA in film at the San Francisco Art Institute
Prosthetic Aesthetics (interior) 16mm black and white . sound. 8 minutes. 1996
Prosthetic Aesthetics (exterior) Video. colour. sound. 6 minutes. 1996
The Prosthetic Aesthetics series involves a piece of 'headgear' constructed around a 16mm camera (Bolex Rex5). Taking this piece of homemade technology into various environments, the first being a gym, I wore the headgear while on the exercise machines, filming both my reflection and the repetitive motion of the different exercises. The reflection allowed me to incorporate the image of the performer wearing the headgear into the film. The repetitive motions allowed for unusual camera movement and the positioning of the camera showed previously unseen perspectives.
My role became that of another performer in this mirrored circus able to record my experience while being simultaneously monitored from the outside. The purpose of this project was to investigate the process of viewing and perception by recording the interior and exterior views of this object, the interior view being on film, the exterior on video. The performance, its documentation on video, and the making of the film became one. The images are evidence of an event.
The video serves as a document of the performance in the gym and highlights the satirical juxtaposition of this machine-like character in a body building environment. The film is a document of the interior view of the apparatus showing its strangely restricted vision. The camera records the movement of the body which has become an appendage or prosthetic limb to the mechanical strengthening devices in the gym.