BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art Presents It has to be this way² Lindsay Seers

BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art presents It has to be this way² by British artist and Derek Jarman Award winner Lindsay Seers open through Sunday 12 June 2011.

“I was her mother but she was never my daughter and now she has gone missing, I can honestly say that I never loved her”

This short, opening sentence of It has to be this way² characterises the ambiguities of a work in which a camera lens rather than a scientific recorder of events, becomes a crystal ball that makes no distinction between the imagined, the past, the present or future. In Seers’ photographic explorations history is constantly reconfigured, as if it contains an infinite, virtual potential for different outcomes already embedded in one another.

It has to be this way² represents these complexities and uncertainties. The film, presented within an installation, resumes the story of the artist’s step-sister Christine Parkes, explored in previous works. Projected onto a circular screen within a structure derived from a Swedish fort on the West African Gold Coast, Seers’ mother Pamela Parkes narrates the tale. She recalls her relationship with her daughters and her husband’s involvement in diamond smuggling. The viewer is immersed in this environment, where personal histories collide with wider political forces. Driving through this is an undercurrent which reveals the instability of memory against the fact of an image.
A 175 page paperback novella, edited by M. Anthony Penwill, accompanies the exhibition and copies will be available to visitors.
It has to be this way² was co-commissioned by the National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen and Mead Gallery, Warwick Arts Centre, University of Warwick in association with Matt’s Gallery, London.

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