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Timely Tale | Natasha Caruana
06/12/2019 - 20/12/2019
Timely Tale | Natasha Caruana
Private view Friday 6th December – 18:00 – 21:00
ASC, Taplow House
The Chaplin Centre, Thurlow Street, London SE17 2DG
Saturday 7th December – Friday 20th December
Please note the gallery will be closed Sunday 8th December
Artist Natasha Caruana invites viewers to step inside her mother, Penny’s, bedroom via a 360 degree VR work set against a backdrop of love, desire, health and our current age of excess. The interactive installation, Timely Tale, will be exhibited in London this December for the first time.
The narrative running throughout the artwork is the story of excess but also of consequence. It addresses the NHS cuts, pharmaceutical price inflation, the pressure to find ‘Mr. Right’, and the impact the barrage of young and beautiful images can have on mental health and consumer choices. Particularly, perhaps, for the older woman (Penny), handling the ageing of her own body.
To experience her mother Penny’s story, viewers will be transported solo, wearing a 360 degree headset, via an intimate medical waiting room setting, into her bedroom through a short film capturing recuperation, finding the right outfit, storing medication and looking for the perfect online partner. The waiting room has been created using furniture from closed down medical facilities across London. The piece addresses the idea of choice and how, in the long run, too much choice can often lead to decision-making paralysis.
Timely Tale is also a comment on the current social and political landscape we live in but also an observation of how the photographic frame, with the advent of new technology, is dramatically changing for the first time. The work is viewed through headsets and Timely Tale uses the 360 degree technologies to empower the audience to look around the artwork with choice of what to see. Viewers can turn their heads to the right to observe the taking of prescription pills or to the left to see what’s displayed on the television screen.
Natasha Caruana’s art practice is grounded in research concerned with narratives of love, betrayal and fantasy. Significant to all Caruana’s work is the questioning of how today’s technology is impacting relationships.
Natasha Caruana says,‘Two years after its creation Timely Tale remains as relevant, if not more. My Mum Penny still suffers from kidney failure – and is yet to be well enough to be put on the waiting list for a new organ. She continues to search for Mr. Right, and the NHS remains in crisis. I’m looking forward to opening Timely Tale this December – a month the NHS is at its most pressured – and all whilst each political party battles out their health care policies to gain public votes in the 2019 General Election. By using VR technology viewers are able to step into my mother’s bedroom to see the effect politics are having on a single story’.
“By telling her mother’s story in an intimate and intentionally stifling way, Caruana points to wider inescapable issues that ultimately affect us all – the changing landscape of the NHS and the potential consequences with regard to public health and finances; our collective insatiable hunger for ‘more’, whether we need something or not, and what the effect of this might be; and our desire to find Mr or Mrs Right, believing, perhaps foolishly, that this will bring happiness.” – Photography Critic and Editor Gemma Padley on Timely Tale