Dissident Lines by Lis Rhodes


Today I wandered around the new Nottingham Contemporary exhibition, Dissident Lines. I wasn’t really sure what to expect from this exhibition, but it certainly was not what I roughly had in my mind.

I was presented with a series of mainly black and white films that focused on shape, light and movement. However, the showcase was not just restricted to film; her practice also crosses into installation, sound art, performance and writing.

I did enjoy the piece, Light Music, in gallery 2. Two large screens were positioned adjacent to each other, beaming light across the room. The audience was invited to immerse themselves in the light, image and sound that I now appreciate was underrepresented women composers in the European musical tradition. The shadows cast where individuals wandered between the two light projectors added another layer of interest; observing how the image was distorted by the human form.

I came out feeling slightly disturbed which I think was as a result of the borderline creepy soundtrack which accompanied the films and the fact that to enter each gallery, you were required to find the entrance through a black curtain with very little light to help guide you. In one space, I didn’t want to move forward as I was very unsure as to whether or not I would walk straight into someone.

Having said this, it was interesting to witness her use of lines and how they were taken out of their usual conformed straight parallel form. There was a clear link between each piece, despite them being created over a 50 year period. Rhodes therefore has a very distinctive style and knows her strengths and how to manipulate a simple line. This showed me the power of image, sound and light and how much of an impact these can have on the audience when used optimally.


LeisureRachel Fox