In his new series of works, Jeremy Sharma interrogates the notions of representation and form by deconstructing the filmic image, breaking it down into its component phenomena of light, shadow and sound. Here, an installation of lightboxes appropriates the appearance and function of a cinema screen, transforming the space of the gallery into an atmospheric rendition of the movie theatre.
What is presented to the viewer, however, is an abstract play of flickering, scintillating illumination: the LED nodes in the lightboxes are controlled by a programme that is based on video data taken from an old Cathay Keris production, 'Korban Fitnah' (1959). The title translates to “Victim of Slander”, and the film tells the tale of a couple unfairly accused of adultery. It is chiefly remembered today for its depiction of a Singapore that no longer exists; shooting locations included the now-vanished Outram Prison, Keppel Road Customs House, Wyman’s Haven Restaurant on Upper East Coast Road, and old C.K. Tang building.
The present work reimagines scenes in a film that, according to Sharma, “forms our nation’s historical and biographical literature”; the dissolution of cinematic mimesis into fitful, unstable incandescence suggests the contingent character of memory and history.