British filmmaker, installation artist and conceptual artist of Pakistani birth, active in England. She completed a BFA at Goldsmiths College, London, between 1991 and 1994. For her degree show she created Pushed/Pulled (1994), changing the door panels at the entrance to the college's studios so that they read ‘Pushed' and ‘Pulled' rather than ‘Push' and ‘Pull'. This kind of conceptual slippage is typical of Floyer's work. In Light (1994; Berne, Kunsthalle), a disconnected lightbulb is illuminated by the beams from four slide projectors; the blandly descriptive title, like the work itself, is both truthful and paradoxically misleading, undermining the viewer's expectations of the object's functionality. Floyer uses these dislocations to produce situations in which viewers are made to feel very selfconscious about what they should be seeing, often using projections as a means of producing apparent displacements of objects or sounds. In the video Blind (1997.), an apparently abstract shifting monochrome in white is revealed to be the movement of a blind in front of a window. The title again has two meanings: it describes precisely the object represented, once one has been able to decipher it, but also implies a state of blindness; an inability to see, as might be suggested by the nebulous whiteness, or a metaphorical expression of being blind to the obvious, such as is provoked by viewing Floyer's work. With an elegant simplicity and literalness, each piece challenges and surprises assumptions both about art and the domestic objects that surround us.
Ceal Floyer (exh. cat., ed. H. Dander; Munich, Philip Morris Kstförderung; Berlin, Kstlerhaus Bethanien, 1998)
Ceal Floyer (exh. cat., essays I. Blazwick and B. Fibicher, Berne, Ksthalle, 1999)
CATHERINE M. GRANT
15 January 2001