‘Amongst distinctions, between waking/sleeping, real/imaginary, ignorance/knowledge; there is surely none more clear-cut than that between the organism and its surroundings.’ – Roger Caillois ‘Mimicry and Legendary Psychasthenia’(1937)
In ‘White Light White Wall’ a figure dressed in white camouflage, lurks within a white image projected upon a white wall. Distinctions between wall, image and figure alternately blur and emerge.
The Gallery wall reflects a series of snowscapes, lasting 30 seconds each, that fade into each other. Within the image as it morphs between the picturesque scenery, a figure wearing a ‘snow-camo’ ghillie suit can be picked out, crouching or otherwise attempting to hide against the wall, inside the light.
As the audience enter in pockets of twos and threes they stand to watch for a few minutes at the hunched figure. Then, when they turn to leave he erupts, hollering as if at some departing rescue helicopter or boat:
‘Hey! Don’t go! Come Back! Don’t leave! Don’t go! Please!’
He jumps and waves after them, struggling to stand out from the surroundings that keep him hidden and stranded. The audience members pause, caught between leaving or staying. Each time they turn to walk away, another distraught eruption is triggered:
‘Don’t go! Don’t leave – please!’
‘White Light White Wall’ follows on from Williamson’s 2008 piece ‘Artist Flings Himself at the Gallery Wall’ to continue his physical exploration of the Gallery wall as a distinct rather than a neutral site.