George Henry Longly
Score co-written and produced by Andrew Spence
‘Volume Excess’ details the process of casting an athletic, tattooed male body in plaster. Layers of vaseline, alginate, burlap and plaster are applied to the model’s body and a highly detailed but fragile mould is produced. The mould is filled with plaster and pigment, which dries and is then dismembered on a marble base. Limbs, torso and fractured shards drift past the lens, forming a monochromatic landscape.
‘Voice 1. What are we doing exactly?
Voice 2. We are taking something from you.
Voice 1. No, this is an exchange.
Voice 2. Position yourself.
Voice 1. Position yourself.’
Close-up shots are accompanied by a score co-written and produced by Andrew Spence, incorporating pulsing techno soundtrack and synthesized spoken word. Longly (also known by the initials ‘GHL’) has an extremely wide ranging practice – from DJing at his club night Anal House Meltdown, to producing a fashion show inspired performance at The Serpentine Galleries’ Park Nights programme. Similarly, this film’s sweeping, cinematic photography owes more to fashion and music video traditions than to documentary.
4th century scholar Jerome wrote that when Istanbul, then Constantinople, came under Roman rule it was ’dedicated by stripping all other cities.’ This makes it perhaps the perfect place for Longly to tease subjectivity and sexuality from a body so classically ideal. In its opposing aesthetics the film brings the demands of ancient idealism into conversation with technologies of the gaze developed over the past century.
George Henry Longly is an artist living and working in London and an MA graduate of Central Saint Martins, London. Selected solo exhibitions include Koppe Astner, Glasgow, 2015; Jonathan Viner, London, 2014; Park Nights, Serpentine Gallery, London; Hanway Place, London, 2013; Lüttgenmeijer, Berlin; Valentin, Paris, 2012. Recent group shows include Lisson Gallery, London; Kostyal, Stockholm; Icastica, Arezzo; Elizabeth Dee, NYC; ROOM EAST, NYC, 2015; David Zwirner, London, Laura Bartlett, London; David Roberts Art Foundation, London, 2013; CELL Project Space, London, 2013; Kunsthalle Mainz, 2012, David Roberts Art Foundation, 2012; Daimler Contemporary, Berlin; Bold Tendencies, London, 2010. Longly has received awards from The Arts Council England, The British Council, The Elephant Trust, and The Henry Moore Foundation.