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Reference Regents 2021

Regent Street Cinema, London 

Reference Regents celebrates Britain's oldest cinema where the Lumiere' brother's films were first shown to the public in the UK in 1986. During the weekend of 25th & 26th September Reference Regents was performed in the auditorium at Regent Street Cinema before each film screening. Traditionally, the cinema audience is lost in narrative time as Malcolm Le Grice states, “Everything possible is done to reduce awareness of the actuality of the screening time and space … the seats are soft, the sound surrounds, the screen fills the visual fields, all reducing awareness of our actual physical presence to the minimum”. (Le Grice, 2001). Reference Regents reverses this priority, forcing the viewer to actively look, engage and experience the physical site of the cinema auditorium.

Reference Regents
creates a tension between space, time and the medium by discarding the anthropomorphic view of the architecture and by constructing a new visual representation of the physical site in which the audience is seated. It forces the viewer to actively look, engage and experience the site, as opposed to the passive consumption of space, answering Parveen Adams’s wish: “what we need is respite from an entire system of seeing and space that is bound up with mastery and identity. To see differently, albeit for a moment, allows us to see anew” (Adams, 1998).