It is a work about cycles and returns, repetitions and recurrences in space and time. The work uses the form of the circle - in reference, in time, in the looping form of the work and in the movement of the camera itself. It also utilises the symbolism of fire, as agent of both destruction and renewal, beginning and ending, and the associations of home, in an exploration of loss, return and the mythic and philosophical notions of the cyclical nature of time and history.
The Return is part of a body of work entitled Fugue. The Return is a video object consisting of a small LCD screen embedded in an old wooden music box. The box sits on similarly styled stand. The lid of the box has a mirror attached to the inside and is open at an angle of 65˚, reflecting the image on the screen within the box. The video described and shown here is displayed on the LCD screen inside the box. The video is looped for continuous display.
In, ‘The Return’, a camera tracks anti-clockwise around a wooden house as it burns. The house then reforms from the ashes and this cycle continues ad infinitum. The house is a copy of the one in Tarkovsky’s, ‘The Sacrifice’, which in turn was modelled on Tarkovsky’s own. In the penultimate scene of The Sacrifice, the father of the family burns down his house. When shooting this six and a half minute shot, the camera jammed and the vital planned finale of the film was not recorded. The house had to be rebuilt and re-burnt in-order to shoot the scene again.
A house is more than a building. It is a dwelling place, a home. Whether a place of comfort and security or, of fear and anxiety, it is a place we associate strongly with our identity. It is often the theatre for our most cherished, emotional and most intimate moments and can be a manifestation of our inner worlds where stairs and rooms, windows and doors, corners and cupboards, attics and basements form deep psychological connections.