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Care(less) | Fabrica, Brighton | 5th October - 24th November 2019

Materials:  VR Headsets with headphones, wall paintings, shadow lamps, medical swivel stools, 6 drawings and sunflower heads.

This work addresses hallucination and embodied viewing in relation to our current social and economic constructs regarding attitudes to the elderly and social care in Britain. It is also concerned with the hallucinatory condition of filmic mediums (here specifically Virtual Reality) which feel closer to how the mind itself works rather than how this is conveyed in the more historic film mediums. Alongside the medium itself the work questions the dubious cultural conventions/constructs we live by and their incoherence. As an editing method it follows the fragmentation of consciousness as opposed to the usual narrative constructs derived from literature/main stream cinema. Care(less) steps back into what underpins identity politics to address its true substrate - human consciousness itself in this case struggling to make sense of a subject that is almost impossible to conceive of - death. In the 360° perspective the journey through the work will inevitably change each time for each person, as the mind finds differing narratives embedded in the visual perspectives. The embodiment that comes with VR (a potentially dangerous medium which has been aligned with addiction) evokes an odd sense of reality that makes real the virtual.  This will probably be like nothing you have seen in VR before...

Artist's Personal Statement

I am writing this on the last day of my show Care(less) at Ikon Gallery Birmingham.  The work features an asymmetric geometric form from Durer that seems to be the geometry of melancholy. The etching was made after Durer watched the painful death of his mother in 1514, about which he said he could find no words to express his grief. Somehow I share that grief having watch my father die and my struggles just to get him a hoist so he could sit in a a chair (I failed) - but more semantically my despair is at the neo-liberal system that England has chosen, which takes no accountability for the individual's experience of life but collects abstract data - box ticking and number crunching with no accountability to what these massaged figures actually mean in terms of a human life - a system perfectly willing to erode our social mechanisms for economic imperatives and letting people face their deaths without any support what so ever, (I am only hi-lighting one issue here from a catalogue of monstrous policies but I see the elderly as the most vulnerable marginalised group, invisible and isolated). England lives under a myth that the health service will support them when they can't feed themselves anymore. The funded support is limited to 6 weeks. The government has no plans in place for funding for those unable to support themselves.

Gallery Statement
Fabrica is premiering Care(less), an immersive virtual reality experience by Lindsay Seers. In this 360° film work, Seers explores the hallucinatory effect of VR. We are drawn into a state of the aged: a state in which we can quickly become invisible.
Lindsay Seers is best known for the hundreds of images she produced using her own body as a camera and her video installations. These explore complex ideas and situations through elliptical narratives that are shaped by an evolving set of connections and coincidences that the act of making the work evokes.
This method of making: through a stream of thought, is an attempt to align filmic construction to the way in which the mind itself works rather than cinematic tropes and the storytelling methods that have developed in relation to theatre. Each development in her practice has been characterised by engaging with embodiment, consciousness and the hallucinatory quality of the media that absorb and influence us. Her work is not fictional but a search for truth into how the mind produces our reality. It is always arrived at through intensive periods of research and considerable time spent mastering new developments in photographic technology.
The artwork and its accompanying texts and programme of talks, film screenings and activities investigate prevalent attitudes to ageing, the nature of care relationships and ways in which the social care system meets care needs.
 

The artwork and its accompanying texts and programme of talks, film screenings and activities investigate prevalent attitudes to ageing, the nature of care relationships and ways in which the social care system meets care needs. 
 

The artwork and exhibition programme is a response to groundbreaking research being undertaken by University of Brighton, University of Birmingham and University of Lincolnshire that looks at the experiences of older people receiving care which they pay for themselves. Early research findings indicate that care provision can feel precarious for many of those who receive it and that a sense of powerlessness, bewilderment and difficulty in dealing with uncertainty is common. Also, society’s view of old age shapes the manner in which care is given, received and paid for and ultimately the value placed on care relationships.
 

ABOUT OPCARE

From February 2019 - June 2020, The OPCARE Commissioning Partnership, comprising University of Brighton (as Lead Research Team and representative of University of Lincoln and University of Birmingham research teams); Fabrica and Ikon galleries and Threshold Studios (producers of Frequency Festival, Lincoln) are commissioning British artist, Lindsay Seers to produce The OPCARE Commissioned Artwork, a new work for exhibition at Fabrica in October 2019 and sites in Solihull/Birmingham and Lincoln/Lincolnshire.

 

Funded by Wellcome Trust (Research Enrichment), the OPCARE Commission is concerned with representing the meaning and value of care in human relationships. It provides the opportunity for an artist to work directly with the Research Teams to expand the public conversation about care and open up a space to explore the universal human dilemmas that we may all face but not want to think about until they happen.

Public debate on care is typically limited by policy concerns about the economic costs of an ageing population and the anticipated impact on health and social care resources. It is also underpinned by an intrinsic fear and distancing from ageing inherent in our contemporary culture and the idea that independence and autonomy are to be valued above all else. This is often internalised by people as they age - that needing help essentially lowers our value as human beings and the ultimate goal should be that we remain totally independent of others when this is no longer realistic, possible or desirable.
 

olderpeopleselffundingcare.com

​Animation in collaboration ​with Keith Sargent.

Sound Design and additional music by Pendle Poucher in collaboration with Lindsay Seers.

Music: 'Uranus' from the album Cold Outer Worlds by Julian Broadhurst, Composer in Collaboration. Please visit his 'British Music Collection' page.
 

britishmusiccollection.org.uk/node/63456.