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Skoggangr 2002

Duncan Marquiss (born 1979, Dumfries, Scotland, UK), Andy Wake (born 1978, Dundee, Scotland, UK)

Duncan Marquiss and Andy Wake both trained in printmaking at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art. This is one of a series of collaborative pieces with both artists contributing to the camerawork, editing and musical soundtrack of Skoggangr. The film was shot over three days on the west coast of Scotland, on a borrowed camera, whilst driving from Glasgow to Ullapool. The film was edited on a home computer, the music composed in response to the images gathered, and the soundtrack recorded in the artists’ bedrooms. Despite this lo-fi approach, the artists deliberately set out to create an ambitious film exploring notions of the sublime. The viewer’s senses are saturated with dreamy images of woodland, lake and mountain contrasted with a soaring soundtrack. Duncan Marquiss states: 'The film is concerned with man’s subjective relationship with nature, and our anthropocentric view of landscape. We wanted to explore the use of landscape within cinema as an emotive device. We attempted to create a film that could be described as Sublime. However, this is self-contradictory: a conscious attempt to construct, subjugate and analyse an unmediated and ineffable experience. The purpose of the work is perhaps at odds with the nature of its subjects. This is characteristic of the Romantic dilemma; how to describe a convoluted line between self-awareness and unconscious experience? The backlit figure explores the rhetoric of the sublime in horror films. Nothing can be more terrifying than explicit or identifiable components – viewers cannot separate themselves from something which exists only in their imagination.' The title is taken from Nordic mythology and describes the practice of banishing criminals and the mentally ill to the wilderness where, through isolation, they would revert to beast-like creatures.

Acquisition Details

Acquired from the artists, 2003
Purchased with funds from the National Collecting Scheme for Scotland which was originated and operated 2003-2006 by the Contemporary Art Society and supported by the National Lottery through the Scottish Arts Council.
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