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Paradise Is for the Blessed - Four Corners

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

THE SUMMER Exhibition at Four Corners, London’s Centre for Film and Photography, is entitled Paradise Is for the Blessed and is on display until July 21, 2007.

Visitors to the exhibition will see how seven London based artists use film, video and photography to explore domestic idylls and ornamentation; human interventions in the environment and sites of past conflict and impending threat. The artists are:

Maria Benjamin
Benjamin’s interests centre on manifestations of land use, in particular, an individual’s endeavour to represent inscapes (interior landscapes) within the physical landscape. The word landscape derives from the meaning laboured earth, a term which could also express the historic and contemporary mythologies imbued on a physical space as an abstract way to ‘own’ or understand the landscape. Benjamin’s work brings these two uses of the term together within the small-scale event.

Dean Hollowood
Over the last five years, Hollowood has been documenting the River Lea as it flows through Hackney Marshes, drawn to the unique beauty of the area – a backwater, thriving despite years of neglect. Focusing down into the waters edge, the confined view frames the tidal debris caught in the branches of willow trees, signifiers of both decay and rejuvenation. Plans for the Olympics will transform this lost wilderness into a huge carpark.

Minou Norouzi
The skyline of Los Angeles is identified by its palm trees and like most of its inhabitants its population of trees are from elsewhere, immigrants. The city receives a continuous face lift with its mature size palms being undug, beautified and replanted. This video is a harrowing observation of the uprooting process of one such tree.

Toby Smith
Haunted by a curious site in his home county of Lincolnshire, Smith obsessively re-visited and photographed the scene during different seasons and lighting conditions. A single shot drawn from over 250, represents final closure of the project. The history and function of the objects remain a mystery to the viewer if only to inspire a fraction of the obsession.

Lucy Soutter
In the months following Hurricane Katrina, it was almost impossible to take a photograph of New Orleans that did not depict epic destruction, ‘Acts of God’. This diptych memorialises the city’s loss more obliquely. The funerary arrangements sidestep sensationalism by containing the feeling of loss in
ritualised overblown flower arrangements designed to look better dead than alive.

Geraldine Swayne
Shot on Super 8, Aground is a film installation about an actor acting, showing multiple scene takes as well as the moments when the actor struggles in and out of character, the drama edited out. The film is accompanied by a soundtrack by a musical collaboration featuring Geraldine Swayne, James Johnston and Steve Gullick.

Tomoko Yoneda
Yoneda’s Scenes are photographs of meta-narratives articulated through the site and context of memory and place. Her post-conflict landscapes and seascapes remind us of the complex and often hideous layers of history that lie beneath the serenity of surface. Yoneda’s objective sense of detachment belies her optimistic vision which leads us to consider if it is the looking that liberates us, and the looking that carries hope.

Opening times: Wednesday to Saturday, 1pm ­to 6pm.

Admission: Free.

Four Corners is a centre for still and moving image work, based in East London. Its fast developing arts and education programme includes exhibitions, screenings, talks and events.

For further information visit the website.