Sonya Lacey

Pillows (installation documentation) (2020)

5 min (excerpt)3 channel installation / Silent / transferred to Digital Video / Colour / Silent

Installation documentation of Pillows at Paludal in Ōtautahi Christchurch.

“Sonya Lacey filmed parts of Pillows over a week she spent in Cambodia, a short flight from Singapore where she had a residency in 2017. On the way back, while Lacey was going through airport customs to re-enter Singapore, border control inspected her luggage and found her 16mm camera. The customs agent, thinking something suspicious could be going on with it, opened up the camera and exposed, so ruining, the film housed inside.

The ruined film was one of a series of reels that Lacey had shot inside an offset printing factory in Cambodia. It was of a man, presumably someone who worked at the factory, having a nap on a pile of thick, freshly printed, probably quite dreary, Government legislation documents. Sleeping in public is quite a vulnerable thing to do—sleeping in public while at your workplace is both quite vulnerable and also pretty subversive. It’s fitting that the film ended up being destroyed by a state employee who was just doing their job, even if it was unintentional.”

Simon Palenski, exhibition text for Pillows, Paludal gallery, Christchurch (2021)

Other works by Sonya Lacey

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