Mike Marshall

Front Garden I 2004


Birdcatcher 2006


31/01/07 – 31/03/07

01/01/2007 - 31/03/2007

Encompassing film, video, sound, print and photography the exhibition includes Birdcatcher, a 16mm film recently commissioned by Film and Video Umbrella, London.

In Marshall’s work, the way we typically perceive our world is short circuited or inverted. His multi-disciplinary practice brings to the fore that which would normally only inhabit the peripheral edges of experience, apparent non-moments and prolonged pauses in the drama of everyday life. Through sustained sensory engagement with half-registered moments in unspecific locations, the background glitch and hum of human experience can become amplified to an almost excessive intensity, the viewer moving into a deeper and potentially less complacent relationship with what is seen and heard.

‘Any film wraps us in uncertainty, the longer we look through a camera or watch a projected image the remoter the world becomes, yet we begin to understand the remoteness more.’
Robert Smithson, Collected Writings

‘Sometimes when taking a picture I imagine the world to have formed in the same way as a photograph, through a process of crystallization in response to light.’
Mike Marshall

Marshall’s use of audio, both in his films and standalone sound pieces, are characterised by the ‘sheer sonic density of those natural ambiences which we customarily filter out’1. In his video installation The Thunder and Lightning, the naturalistic sound of thunder drives a search to catch the glimmers of illumination from within a shifting darkness. In Birdcatcher, the sounds of air, birdsong and insects are brought together from diverse habitats and continents, and carefully layered to create an apparently specific sonic location. Combined with a slowing and sharpening of perceptual awareness, Marshall’s deliberate constructing of space and activity not only cast doubt upon the verisimilitude of what is seen and heard, but also question the veracity of sensory experience, through which we build our beliefs in, and perspectives on, the world around us.
1) Martin Herbert, ‘Notes on the Margins.’ -Ikon Gallery and Paisley Museum publications, 2007.

Mike Marshall was born in 1967. He lives and works in London. Recent solo exhibitions include The Intimacy of Distance, Ikon Gallery, Birmingham; At the Edge of the Known World, Grundy Art Gallery, Blackpool and Mike Marshall: Here is Fine, Tate Gallery, St. Ives. Recent group exhibitions include Happy Believers, Werkleitz Biennale, Germany; A Grain of Dust a Drop of Water, Gwanju Biennale; Days Like These, Tate Triennial, Tate Britain, London and Fantastic Realism, Art Halle Tallin, Estonia.

The exhibition coincided with the publication of a monologue of Mike Marshall’s work, co-published by Ikon gallery and Paisley Museum & Art Galleries. With thanks to the Esme Fairburn Trust. Birdcatcher was commissioned and produced by Film & Video Umbrella as part of Single Shot, a product of a major new collaboration between the UK Film Council’s New Cinema Fund and Arts Council England. Supported by Illy. Single shot is managed by Film & Video Umbrella and Maya Vision International. With thanks to Camberwell College of Arts.