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OVUM

2012

Single-channel digital film

HD colour - stereo sound

3' duration

Commissioned by Protein for Random Acts on Channel 4

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The ovum is the female reproductive cell that divides after fertilisation, starting a miraculous chain reaction that builds the embryo of a new life.

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This film focuses on the symmetry of that process. The mother nucleus tears itself into two identical daughter nuclei. The cell forms a dividing wall that separates the daughters into their own compartments. The compartments pull apart to form two complete cells. The cycle starts again in each cell.

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A dancer represents the cell nucleus, partly in order to exploit the beauty of a symmetrical figure in motion and partly to hint at how cell division echoes procreation at the human scale.

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The film was crafted in the most straightforward way possible. The dancer and kaleidoscopic lighting effects were simply superimposed to evoke the transparency of cells under a microscope.

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Still frames from OVUM