Gosford Books is interesting venue for Sight Reading performance film installation

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An installation in Coventry second hand bookshop Gosford Books is a feature of a conference being held in the city this weekend.

The Dance and Somatic Practices Conference 2015 has a free events programme running alongside it. One of the items is the installation Sight Reading from 2007 which can be seen in Gosford Books from mid-day until late tomorrow, Saturday, July 11, and from late morning until 2pm on Sunday, July 12.

Shop owner Robert Gill, who has run Gosford Books for 38 years, doesn’t possess either a computer or a TV so it’s a bit unusual to see the flat screen TV propped on top of a bookshelf, with the nine-minute film playing on DVD. But there are two stools – of vastly differing heights – where you can perch to watch the film.

Sight Reading, made with an Artsadmin bursary, was apparently inspired by artist Lucy Cash’s chance finding of a second-hand book, which led her to explore how particular forms of somatic skills might destabilize our relationship to the world around us.

The information leaflet explains it: “As a film Sight Reading offers the viewer a cycle of performative gestures which deliberately evoke a strange, dreamlike sensation of synthesia through collaging re-enactments of ‘eyeless sight’ experiments with a choreographed exploration of an eclipse. The soundtrack includes a partial rendition of Eric Satie’s Vexations by Finnish pianist Timor Fredriksson.”

Sitting amidst the shelves, watching the screen and listening to the soundtrack through headphones it’s certainly unnerving to see people in the film, their eyes covered, but ‘reading’ through their arms. It’s certainly likely to be the strangest art event in Coventry this weekend……

* There are also glass photographic slides and writing on show at Drapers Bar, and limited edition posters available from the Rising Café from the Rubble at the Cathedral.

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