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Drowning in Newcastle.


Fathom is like taking a visual dip into the deep blue sea. All of the pieces in this well-curated group show of sound and video installations play with the idea of water. Rooms are filled with the sound of splashes and deep booms. Digital waves are projected onto walls. Horses swimming are projected next to synchronised swimmers.

The piece that dominates the exhibition is The Messenger by Bill Viola. Although some of his recent work has resembled a bad acting class in slow motion, the piece he shows here is fascinating. A man falls back into water, his body slowly covered with pale blue ripples of water. He continuously recedes into the liquid, his naked form becoming more and more abstract as he sinks. The viewer canít help but hold his/her breath waiting for him to come up for air. But instead he fades away, a blurry speck in a screen of black darkness.


Francesca Gavin 21 July 05 rating of 3 and 1/2
Fathom is at the Hatton Gallery, University of Newcastle Upon Tyne, until 20 August 05.

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