Magazine article Artforum International

Lindsay Seers: Artangel at the Tin Tabernacle

Magazine article Artforum International

Lindsay Seers: Artangel at the Tin Tabernacle

Article excerpt

A rusting, corrugated iron chapel in North London hosted Lindsay Seers's captivating installation Nowhere Less Now, the latest site-specific project to be commissioned by Artangel. Seers transformed the interior of this nineteenth-century church, known as the "tin tabernacle" and occupied for the past fifty years by a troop of Sea Cadets, recladding it with riveted faux-metal sheets to resemble a ship. Seers extended this resemblance by placing an overturned iron ship's hull inside the nave. Viewers were led into this darkened space, handed a set of headphones, and seated on a gun deck facing two large white lenses (one convex, one concave), onto which a thirty-five-minute video was projected.

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The video ostensibly retraces the African voyages of Seers's great-great-uncle George Edwards, an officer in the British Navy. The artist's dreamlike voice-over narrates her own journey in and around Zanzibar, a trip that is in part pictured in the video, intercut with still photographs and animated sequences. In the video, Seers follows in her uncle's footsteps, responding to an interest in his story that had been triggered by her discovery of a family photograph depicting George and his crew onboard ship. This image haunted her throughout the making of the piece. According to her narration, her odyssey was marked by several uncanny coincidences. Along the way, she met another George Edwards, whose great-grandfather (also named George) worked alongside Seers's uncle as a liberated slave. During the production of the video, yet a third George Edwards made contact with her, claiming to be writing to her from the future. This sometimes surreal narrative, which veers between fact and fiction, consists of animated sequences, documentary footage, scientific modeling of DNA strands and optical nerves, and interviews. …

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