Michael Duffy February 2009
Michael Duffy was born in Dublin and lives in London where he works at the Slade School of Fine Art. His portfolio includes solo video works, multi-screened installations, performance based works and avant-garde theatre. From The Ting-Theatre of Mistakes in the UK, and The Ping Chong Company in the USA, he has collaborated with groups presenting conceptual and multimedia events in locations such as The Serpentine and Hayward galleries in London, La Mama and The Kitchen in New York, and Teatro Della Salle in Milan. Michael’s earlier solo performance works explored the male gender role by examining the barber shop ritual and the machismo of national flags were presented at Acme gallery in London, The Arc Gallery in Chicago, and PS1, Art Galaxy, PS 122 and SUNY in New York. In 1981 he was awarded a British Commonwealth scholarship to study in Canada but opted to attend the School of the Art Institute Chicago and join the Whitney Independent Study Programme in New York.
The works shown at CCNOA are exercises in photographic framing and the use of multiple devices to present motion from a sequence of single images. Here there is a dual approach. On the left screen are examples of shots from a video camera confined to capturing an interval of time, in this case a fraction of a second, then programmed to repeat over another interval of time. The result is a light drawing of just enough information and motion to make sense and little enough information to form an abstraction. The right screen consists of single images captured from a digital SLR, sometimes motor driven and sometimes single frame. The same rules of conventional stop frame animation are applied - 2 to 4 frames are copied from each single image and placed in a sequence to produce motion of a specific kind. Using the higher resolution capability of SLRs, Michael captures predefined fractions of motion; a sequence of stills, achieving a higher quality image than with a standard video camera. The process in this work is evocative of the early Mutoscope, which worked on the same principle as the flip book. Imagine these moments as images mounted on a huge Rolodex.