Tom Pnini‘s video project “The Light Fantastic Toe” will be screened at the Loop art fair, Barcelona.
04 – 06.06.2015
The Light Fantastic Toe presents the five minutes leading up to a stereoscopic portrait of a family, taken just before the patriarch leaves to join the Union Army. Pnini has been working to re-examine the notion that a photograph represents a decisive moment – the incidence of light striking a lens at a precise instant in time. A stereoscopic photograph consists of two nearly identical images taken with a camera with two lenses, with a separation equal to that of human eyes. With the aid of a stereoscope viewer, a magical illusion of depth is created. Pnini unravels this magical end. He extracts the two images from the stereoscope viewer and strips the photograph from its original function. The original magic is revealed and before us appears a duplication of that critical moment of traditional photography: a decisive moment that reproduces itself. A clone, a double, a mirror.
The video begins with what appears to be a split screen; however, it is actually a double set creating the illusion of a stereoscopic image. Similar to the dual-lens stereoscopic image, in his video, Pnini duplicates the actual scene in real life: identical twins play two separate roles, acting in two identical sets, which themselves are replicas of an 1860s New York apartment. The portrait is no longer of one family, but is in fact of two families – identical and different. Each family poses in front of a similar path and destiny, the prospect of war. As the click of the camera captures an image for eternity, so it records the possibility of death.