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‘Ella’ takes the form of a monologue, performed live at Somerset House in 2020 by actor Ella Greenwood. A mid-size auditorium. A blue/grey screen projects in 1080 by 1920 resolution. It’s artificial light casts across the entire space. ‘Ella’ wears a gators sweatshirt and stands in-front of the screen. She reads from a white 2011 iPad mini attached to a strange prosthetic-like device. The device allows her to read and recall a lengthy stream of text whilst free to move and gesticulate with her hands. Her gestures conjure TED-talks, her speech, the language of devices. The rigged seating of the auditorium is populated with a small audience of family and friends. Adopting the format of a technologically mediated lecture, filmed in front of a live audience at Somerset House in early 2020, ‘Ella’ links the production of the ‘artistic personality’ (in this case both actor Ella Greenwood and artist Anneke Kampman) to a broader realm of capitalist production, and its community of characteristic subjectivities. Comprised of a central script of quoted, fictional and biographical material, the work critiques the idealised models of self-presentation increasingly required – both in physical and online space – of actor and artist alike.
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