Abluō is a double-channel video installation which was exhibited in two large solo exhibitions, Platform Arts Gallery, Belfast, and Siamsa Tire Gallery in Co. Kerry, Ireland. The installation explores issues of the uncanny double, and also simultaneously examines the shot-reverse-shot imagery of filmic narrative. The piece investigates the issues of cleansing and purification - the word 'abluō’ is Latin, meaning to wash away, and the installation explores the horror film's use of the bathroom, which embodies the cultural taboo of abject dirt and the taming of monstrous femininity. Through repetitive actions, and the sheer scale of the installation (which consists of two 2.4m by 4.2m screens at right angles to each other), the videos attempt to create a space in which to subvert the negative representation of female sexuality.
The left image consists of a hand leaning over the edge of a bath, with black liquid slowly dripping from the fingers. It seems to be static except for the noisy liquid, but occasionally the hand moves - not enough to be very obvious - but disconcertingly present at the same time, suggesting life in death and death in life. The other, right-hand channel reveals the black liquid dripping upon the tiles of a pristine white bathroom floor, slowly seeping into the white grout and making it 'dirty.' The video is looped and edited to create a fractured sense of time, whereby the liquid on the tiles constantly vary between a single drop to a fully black-soaked floor.
The double channel installation is installed in an attempt to explore the gallery space itself – the screens stand apart from each other in a ruptured V formation that attempts to envelop the audience, mirroring the bath that envelops the figure in the video. I positioned the screens to incite corporeal movement, in opposition to the passive spectatoral position of the black-box of a typical film theatre or video piece. The pillars in the gallery block any complete viewing of the two channels, and the audience must walk around the space to view the videos from either one side of the pillars or the other. To actually capture the two videos in their entirety in the installation, the spectator must get in front of the pillar, but is so close to the projections that the image becomes blurred, thereby creating a discontinuity between formal narrative and space. The physical movement of the audience in the video installation readdresses issues of spectularisation and suture, and provides a solution to the passivity of cinematic spectatorship.