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  • Writer's pictureJo Dyer

Emma Fielden

Updated: May 31, 2022

Andromeda and the Milky Way, 2021

Videos of installation view of Emma Fielden's artwork at The Lock Up:

Emma Fielden Andromeda and the Milky Way, 2021,

4K video with sound, 4 hours 33 minutes, performed by Emma Fielden and Lizzie

Thomson, filmed by Dara Gill, edition of 3 + 2AP.

Note: Text below is for VART3615 Critical Frameworks Dossier:

Emma Fielden's artworks were part of the group show Radical Slowness exhibited at The Lock Up in Newcastle from March to May 2022. While Emma's practice is quite different from my own she also has an interdisciplinary approach with her works emerging out of a drawing practice (and previously jewellery-making) and into iterations of live performance and video installation. In fact, whilst researching her work Andromedia and the Milky Way, which is a 4.5 hour video performance that was projected onto a large platform in the exhibition, I learnt that this piece had in fact been performed live as part of a previous exhibition when it was filmed1.

There is something appealing about not really knowing which part is the "art": is it the documentation (video), the live performance / event, or both? I love the idea of it being unclear, rather than a neatly commodifiable object (having said that the artist is represented by a commercial gallery and the video iteration of this work likely available to acquire2). There is something in these offerings of different iterations of work that as an artist I feel is very important to aspire to. I feel it is very important to engage in a practice that cannot wholly be commodified or commercialised. By necessity, some of it needs to generate an income for me as a full time artist, sure. But to not think beyond the commercial reality of a practice I feel is to somehow fall short of the potential of being an artist and of making art. This artwork also challenges art as a commodity and capitalist values in general by creating such a durational work. At a time when it is hard to engage an audience for more than ten seconds vis social media a video that runs for over four hours is both a generous and courageous offering. I spent about an hour and a half with the piece and benefited from the physiological benefits of taking that time to slow down and observe. The very idea of slowing down and resisting what I feel has become a normalised yet largely unsustainable pace of life is at the heart of tending to the world in a caring way: care takes time.

  1. Emma Fielden. "Andromeda and the Milky Way", Instagram, September 29, 2021. Accessed 31 May 2022.

  2. Dominik Mersch Gallery. "Emma Fielden" Last modified 2022.

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