Moving forward from last years Naked Touch exhibition photographer Gavin Evans has decided to transfer his talents to film making accompanied by musical accompaniment by violin virtuoso Richard Moore. Just as confrontational as his naked portraits, which stripped the subjects bare, his exploratory nature inspired him to take these themes several steps further by creating nine short silent films visually applying psychology to portraits using subjects with strong back stories-loss and alcoholism are just two things which have brought his subjects to where they are in their lives today- hopefully providing a sense of illumination for the audience.
Acting as the antithesis to the never ending-and generally unfunny- comedy acts most mistakenly assume are the central focus of the Fringe, ‘Diving’ instead offers a sense of catharsis not only for the artist and his subjects but also the audience themselves as the material asks them to question their own prejudices and preconceived notions. Generally the subjects of these films have overcome conditions or situations that most of society would consider to be either defects or drawbacks-perhaps even both- and the strength they have had to muster up in dealing with these things allows another dimension of the film to unfold.
Using the basics of one light, one camera and one subject, Evans strips things back to basics and provides a visual metaphor for the shaft of light a dive into the sea leaves behind. Whilst the light reveals, the dark in contrast hides but simultaneously also leaves a lot open to suggestion.
Wes Westenburger who appears in one of the films actually had an accident in the sea which left him a paraplegic so this adds further depth as the name and subject matter were already in place before a chance meeting led to their eventual collaboration. Likewise unconventional and innovative choreographer Javier De Frutos had an innate understanding of movement, light and the use of music so his film will incorporate these elements in a totally different way from most of the others.
Alongside these moving portraits by Evans will be impromptu violin scores created by Richard Moore who is an equally vital component in the project. His contributions will be all the more interesting as he will be perceiving these visions through the eyes and mindset of a healthy young man who has yet to endure or experience many of the hardships the subjects within the films have been through. This provides a different narrative and yet again even more depth to an already multi-textured experience.
Showing only for two nights –August 6th and 7th– tickets for this show are bound to be in demand so it may be wise to book in advance although there may be another date towards the end of the festival but as yet nothing has yet been confirmed. Definitely a thought provoking show and whilst some may see it as slightly macabre with a deliberate intention to shock this is not the case but if it does actually manage to shock well perhaps that could also be perceived as a good thing.
Diving is showing in the Dissection Room at Summerhall on Tuesday 6th and Wednesday 7th August at 7pm.
Details can be found here http://www.summerhall.co.uk/
All photographs and stills courtesy of Gavin Evans