A Quiet Exile
A Quiet Exile is a new iteration of Texture Shots, a project which explores themes of the queerness within the everyday. Inspired by the moments in film and documentary where shots, usually without narrative or dialogue, texture shots are used to contextualised settings and surroundings for the audience. This work takes moments from the surrounding environment in an attempt to expose the intimate, diaristic nature of the everyday spaces we interact with. Often the visual elements contain a suggestion of the domestic, repeating the use of particular views and spaces in an attempt to ‘still’ the moment. This is counterpointed through the use of sound and text which explores a variation of thoughts and poetic ideas.
A Quiet Exile takes the project into an exploration of the immediate ideas of ‘separateness’ which have become universally familiar during lockdown and thinks about this through the lens of queer experience and spaces. The title is inspired by the oft-exaggerated language that has been used around COVID-19 instigated lockdowns around the world. This is reflected in the use of ‘exile’, which has at times been used to exaggerate a situation to imply a state of oppression such as millionaires living in ‘tax exile’. For many exile is something you are forced into to escape persecution or punishment, or something that is a punishment in of itself; for others it is something that is self-imposed. Lockdown has been something which treads a similar boundary, with everyone experiencing its restrictions in different ways.
Considering ways in which it is possible to queer the ‘new normal’ as the world changes, inexorably, around us every day; it is interesting to consider ideas of ‘outness’ and the ‘closet’. One of the stark outcomes of the seemingly endless restrictions has been the impact on queer experience and queer spaces. There has been a new kind of denial to areas and forms of queer life that are reminiscent of José Esteban Muñoz’s idea of ‘Queer Utopian Memory’. With queer spaces, ranging from Pride marches to saunas, being unable to operate there is a real sense of renewed prohibition. A censoring of and from queer acts and spaces. In whatever a ‘new normal’ means or looks like it is easy to entertain the idea that for the most part these spaces will not be the same. These changes to queer space could be, for the most part, temporary; but then historically huge societal shifts and traumas have often caused permanent difference.
This work explores ideas and elements of these slippages set against a collection of personal and diaristic observations. Assemblages of imagery from different places set alongside text and jarring sound. It is intended to flow and change over time to reflect the shift in ideas and experience.
Commissioned by South West-based curators Field Notes, A Quiet Exile is part of Artist commission series From the Field which runs from June through to October. A Quiet Exile will be live between Friday 10th July and Saturday 25th July with elements changing every 2-3 days as new imagery, sound and text is formed and found. The page will then remain online until the 3rd of August and then archived on Rhys' main website. Other live elements will happen on the Field Notes Instagram page throughout this time.
Rhys Morgan is an Artist and Producer based in Bristol, UK. Having studied at Falmouth University he has been working and exhibiting around the South West and the wider UK since 2014. He is currently undertaking an MFA in Fine Art at Goldsmiths, London. His work often explores ideas around information and power structures and how this interacts with queer life.
For more information contact Rhys at: