(Text by Nicola Stephenson)
On his first visit to Harewood, Dan Scott was particularly drawn to the music clock reputed to have belonged to Queen Marie Antoinette, and the way that a single object can powerfully act as a bridge between our selves, a historical time and an iconic figure. Although these are inanimate objects, the clock and the vases featured in the videos, can perhaps be seen as `portals` or `time-travelling witnesses` to history.
When we watch the video Tingle we are briefly connected with many things: the possible interior landscape and thoughts of the young Marie Antoinette, the awareness that we are listening to the same sound of the clock ticking and chiming that she heard; a sense of time passing and our melancholic position of knowing what the future holds for her in contrast to her playful interaction with time and the clock.
This bittersweet sense of time passing is reinforced by the other new commission made for this exhibition All Our Yesterdays. Some of the 600 versions of Yesterday play at regular intervals throughout the day, filling the Gallery with renditions in different languages and styles. Yet from reggae to opera, each version contains the unmistakeable sound of yearning for something lost and out of reach.
The artist has said: “I think a wider theme in this exhibition is time and attempts to disturb or disrupt it. The film is someone seducing time, the same song repeated over and over becomes something desperate about wanting time to go backwards. The film featuring the Sèvres vases, and the framed silk-screens of the pots are about accessing time through inanimate, apparently time-less objects.”
Tingle is a sensual investigation of a clock made by the Sèvres factory and reputed to be once owned by Queen Marie Antoinette of France. The text is based on a letter written by Marie Antoinette to her mother, Marie Theresa, in which she exhaustively details her daily routine. For this film, Dan collaborated with Olivia Kissper, a popular practitioner of the Youtube phenomena known as `ASMR` in which touch, voice and sound provoke what ASMR fans call the ‘tingle’ response, a physiological phenomenon that users claim induces deep relaxation and well-being. ASMR stands for Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response.
All Our Yesterdays
A jukebox containing 600 cover versions of the Lennon/McCartney song Yesterday. Dan's collection of versions of the most recorded song in popular music history was also presented, in collaboration with DJ Ed Baxter, as Radio Yesterday, a 24-hour radio station first broadcast on Resonance FM in 2010.
Five screen-prints made in response to a theory proposed in the late 1960s by the electrical engineer Richard G Woodbridge that clay pots could accidentally record sound whilst being thrown on a wheel.
The shape of the hand determines the final shape of the pot and allows feedback to resonate through the vessel. Each gesture alters the pitch, timbre and volume of the sound produced. The video features two Sèvres vases which belonged to Madame Adelaide designed to commemorate the coronation of her nephew King Louis XVI of France.