Clare Langan’s post-apocalyptic trilogy of films, ‘Forty Below’, 1999, ‘Too Dark for Night’, 2001 and ‘Glass Hour’, 2002, individually and collectively offer us visions of a future in which the forces of nature appear to have overwhelmed the human hold on the planet. Each film explores the limitless forces of nature as they trace the path of a solitary figure through a catastrophic landscape. Created using a Bolex 16mm and Super 16mm camera customised with hand-painted filters and lens attachments, the trilogy was not altered in postproduction, except for their transfer to DVD. This approach remains true to the sensuality of film and gives a highly atmospheric and painterly feel to the finished works, each part of the trilogy having its own palette of colours, and each its own texture. By introducing highly-saturated colours into the piece Langan evokes feelings of nostalgia, loss, and isolation. Shot on location between Ireland, Iceland and Namibia, the trilogy explores the seemingly limitless forces of nature, tracing the path of a solitary figure through a post-apocalyptic landscape.
‘Glass Hour’ posits not so much a volcano, perhaps, as a vast lava outflow of the kind that has engulfed huge tracts of the earth’s surface in the past. In the context of an increasing awareness of the destructive effect of human activities on the biosphere, it is not unreasonable to draw a cautionary ecological inference from Langan’s trilogy, not least because of its many references to industrial activity. But, while such a line of interpretation is certainly left open, the work itself is never anything other than ambiguous in this respect.
|Medium||Super 16 mm film transferred to video (colour, surround sound)|
|Credit Line||IMMA Collection: Purchase, 2003|
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