© 2018 Carla Thackrah

Portrait Series: Multiple Heads

Multiple Heads is a series of multi-media portraits incorporating image with sound and music. Informed by Renaissance portraiture, these works aim to subvert and extend the traditionally silent and still world of portraiture via the incorporation of significant music, sound and moving image, the ultimate aim being to express the human psyche.

 

Each portrait uses music and sound as its initiating media to express the intangible, emotional nature of the sitter's inner identities. Attached to each sound portrait is video image which depicts the external manifestation of identity.

 

In this way, these portraits question whether this significant music and sound can legitimately extend the traditional practices of portrait making past the depiction of a 'good likeness' caught in a single moment, to capture a representation of our contemporary inner selves that are constantly being  re-negotiated via our relationships.

Multiple Heads: Portrait of Elektra Collective Unconscious (2019)

Five channel video, stereo sound

 

A pentaptych (5 panel altarpiece) portrait of the music ensemble Elektra Collective Unconscious (ECU) and their relationship reflected in both music and words.

 

The members are Jess Ciampa (far left panel) Carla Thackrah (next left) Rudi Crivici (far right panel) Romano Crivici (next right). The centre panel represents their collective relationship expressed via words.

 

The work is based on early Renaissance altarpieces and the frame is from St Michael (1476) which is one panel of a Carlo Crivelli altarpiece in the National Gallery London. The central image is also from Crivelli's The Annunciation with Saint Emidius (1486).

The sound has been created in post production by Carla Thackrah incorporating the voices and music of the Elektra Collective Unconscious (ECU).

Multiple Heads: Rom (2019)

Single channel video stereo sound

 

A portrait of Rom informed by Carlo Crivelli, one of his favourite Renaissance artists. In it we see the foot of St Sebastian from The Virgin with St Francis and St Sebastian (1491) and The Annunciation with St Emidius (1486).

 

The sound has been created in post production by Carla Thackrah incorporating the voice of Rom and music of the Elektra Collective Unconscious (ECU) and the Elektra String Quartet.

Multiple Heads: Andy (2019)

Stereo sound single channel large format video

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A single panel portrait of Andy Rantzen.

The sound has been created in post production by Carla Thackrah incorporating the voice of Andy Rantzen and music of the Elektra Collective Unconscious (ECU) - Andy Rantzen, (beats & words); Carla Thackrah (vocals & flute); Romano Crivici (piano); Rudi Crivici (electric viola) and Jess Ciampa (percussion & vocals)

The work is to be projected on a screen approx 2 meters high, life size or played on LCD screen.

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The work would be shown as a continuous installation (looped) with either stereo sound or displayed with the music performed live by Elektra Collektive Unconscious (ECU).

Multiple Heads: You & Me (2019)

Stereo sound 3 channel large format video

 

Triptych portrait of a relationship. Informed by Renaissance altarpieces in particular Carlo Crivelli (about 1430 -1494). The frame is the one surrounding Leonardo's Virgin of the Rocks in the National Gallery, London (1492-9). An interior is shown in the central panel exhibiting deep perspective with portraits of individuals on the two external panels. This form is drawn from the traditional triptych altarpiece. The fragmenting of the human form is referencing post modern ideas of identity.

The soundscape is created in post-production from recorded conversations between You and Me and an improvisation performed by Me - Carla Thackrah (vocals & flute), You - Romano Crivici (piano), Rudi Crivici (electric viola); Jess Ciampa (percussion & vocals): The Elektra Collektive Unconscous (ECU)

The work is to be projected on a screen approx 2 meters high, life size.

This iteration shows the works as they would be displayed, synchronised to the same sound.


The work would be shown as a continuous installation (looped) with either stereo sound or displayed with the music performed live by Elektra Collektive Unconscious (ECU).

Multiple Heads: Adam & Eve (2018-19)

Stereo sound 2 channel large format video

A diptych portrait inspired by Lucas Cranach the Elder's portraits of Adam and Eve (1528) in the Uffizi Gallery Florence. Cranach was influenced by an earlier painting by Albrecht Durer (1508) which is considered the first full length depiction of the naked body.

I visited Florence in September 2018 and was struck by the two paintings and their relevance to the work I'm undertaking. I see these as representing the birth of individual human identity - an idea of self-hood with  free will, separate to God.  These ideas flowered in the Renaissance, embodied by Descarte's writing.

 

Sound is an improvisation based around the theme of the birth of identity performed by Carla Thackrah (vocals & flute), Romano Crivici (piano), Rudi Crivici (electric viola): The Elektra Collektive Unconscous (ECU)

The work is to be projected on a screen of similar size to the original paintings. Both Durer's and Cranach's paintings are life size.

This iteration shows the works as they would be displayed - two separate, life size projections displayed next to each other (as they are displayed in the Uffizi) synchronised to the same sound.


The work would be shown as a continuous installation (looped) with either stereo sound or displayed with the music performed live by Elektra Collektive Unconscious (ECU).

Fragments of Presence & Absence (2018)

(Notes from a Suicide: a self portrait)

single channel video, stereo sound

Four perspectives of a suicide which becomes a self portrait of the film maker based on intimate portraits of the other.

This self portrait began with sound and images were edited to the sound.
Informed by Renaissance portraiture, particularly Albrecht Durer.

Fragments of Presence & Absence (2018)

(Notes from a Suicide: a self portrait)

6 channel video, 7 channel sound

This version of Notes From a Suicide: self portrait #1 was filmed showing in the (this has been removed because the venue does not wish to be identified). This version was shot in the venue with an InstaPro 360VR camera in 360 monoscopic format.

 

The screen in the venue is 4M high x 10M surrounding the viewer 360 degrees.  Sound/music and vision by Thackrah.

SELF PORTRAIT #4 (2018)

single channel video, stereo sound.

PORTRAIT OF MOSH MULTI SCREEN

3 channel video, stereo sound

Filmed at his request a week before he took his own life in April, 2015 and a few days after his first suicide attempt.

This is a re-edited version of Last Portrait of Moshlo for 3 screens. The bottom is to be shown on the right, the top on the left and the middle image is shown in front of the viewer.

 

For the central image, the sound is equally sent to right and left. The sound for the centre screen are bodily sounds and sounds of emotional expression and images of  facial expressions with no narrative voice were chosen.

 

The narrative voice is panned either to the right or left, as is the image. The  panning will move the viewers head to either screen or they may choose to stay in the centre to watch the face's expressions.