Open Eye – Nancy Davenport


Nancy Davenport. Exhibition 20 September – 30 November 2008
A Canadian artist living and working in New York, Nancy Davenport constructs reality-bending images that fall somewhere between photography and moving image, stillness and high-speed, fiction and document.

In 2004 Davenport began Workers (leaving the factory), an evolving series of projects that transforms itself for each exhibition context. Growing out of the artist’s enduring interest in the shifting relations between individuals and institutions, Workers reflects on the historical representation of labour and the complex social transformations of contemporary industry.
The newly commissioned sequence of Workers shown was shot at the Jaguar car plant in Halewood, Merseyside. Against the background of Ford’s recent sale of Jaguar to Indian Conglomerate Tata, the piece focuses on the manufacture of a red X Type car, which Davenport follows through a hypnotic assembly line.

The artist combines digital photography and video to track the elegantly efficient process, from inception to test run. She also documents a parallel journey: the drive to work of one of the factory workers, captured from a surveillance camera mounted on the bumper of his car.