- Hannah Black Born 1981
- Video, high definition, monitor, colour and sound (stereo)
- Duration: 5min, 36sec
- Purchased using funds provided by the 2017 Frieze Tate Fund supported by WME | IMG 2018
Intensive Care / Hot New Track 2013 is a video lasting just over five and a half minutes composed of found images and footage sourced from the internet. Black has described her process of making video as always beginning with text, either written by her or found, which she uses to establish a structure for the film. This structure is then broken down in the editing process so that the finished film is a collage of footage. The work was included in the artist’s first solo exhibition commissioned by Legion TV in 2013. The text read throughout the video conflates celebrity gossip about the musician Rihanna and her partner Chris Brown with audio testimony from US military interrogators at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, offering an oblique meditation on power relations, the trivialisation of violence, and shifting registers of remorse. The musical track used to accompany the video is the Karaoke mix of Rihanna’s record ‘What’s My Name?’ (2010). Key images in the work include a diagram of the eighteenth-century British slave ship Brookes, that depicts a ship filled to its capacity of 454 people taking slaves from Liverpool to Jamaica. It is an image which was associated with abolitionist campaigners because of its visually striking and emotionally harrowing content. Black’s choice to include it has resonance due to her own Jamaican heritage and upbringing in the North of England.
Other imagery includes a hand covered in ants taken from Luis Bunuel’s film Un Chien Andalou (1929), in which the insects crawl out of a wound in the centre of the lead male character’s hand. An image of foreboding, it is accompanied in Black’s video by disembodied shots of a woman’s crouching leg, naked apart from a pink high-heeled shoe, and a bare arm and hand, adorned with jewelry and red nail polish, rotating around each other, blurring the distinction between the images and their contexts. An image of a woman with a black eye appears either to be, or to relate to, a famous tabloid photograph of Rihanna which was circulated in 2009, allegedly following an assault from her then partner, musician Chris Brown. These key images, while from a wide range of contexts, are united in being sourced from the internet. Black has discussed her working methods, likening her editing process to a dancer being led by the rhythm of the music:
The videos mostly begin with texts, but the texts just decompose as I’m editing. Sometimes I rewrite directly into the titles box in Premiere. There’s a thing that happens as I’m working, which you’re right, is rhythmic. I discover what the rhythm of the edit should be. It doesn’t feel like a style because it’s like dancing: I know I do have a style of dancing, I’m recognizably myself dancing, but I don’t approach it consciously. I collect images from the internet but the recent videos also have something approximately ‘hand-made’ even if it’s only vaguely so. That’s a kind of weird compromise between making new moving images, which seems so weird and pointless, and not wanting the kind of stylistic collapse or neutrality that can come from just collaging other people’s images.
(Jesse Darling, ‘Artist Profile: Hannah Black’)
The work exists in an edition of three, of which Tate’s copy is number one , and is shown on a monitor.
Hannah Black, ‘Crazy in Love’, The New Inquiry, 4 December 2014.
Hannah Black, Dark Pool Party, Los Angeles and London 2016.
Hannah Black and Juliana Huxtable, Life, Cologne 2017.
Jesse Darling, ‘Artist Profile: Hannah Black’, Rhizome, 17 February 2017, https://rhizome.org/editorial/2015/feb/17/artist-profile-hannah-black/, accessed 1 October 2017.
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