Willie Doherty

Derry UK 1959, lives and works in Derry

Remains
2013
single-channel HD video installation with Dolby digital surround sound; 15 min.
dimensions variable
2013.WD.02

Like much of Doherty’s work, Remains is situated in the landscape and streets of Derry, Northern Ireland, where an uneasy peace is often disrupted by incidents of violence that seem like inexplicable remnants of the past.

Against this backdrop, the camera moves through the streets of Doherty’s hometown and its surrounding landscape in a sequence of long tracking shots accompanied by a voiceover. Through the narration, the tempo of the work shifts from a study of normality to a series of interruptions where the everyday is pierced by the intrusion of incidents of threat and violence.

The work speculates on the origins of the specific incidents that we encounter and concludes with a dramatic sequence of a burning car abandoned within the landscape: an image remembered from the past that erupts in the present with the quality of a vivid hallucination.

Remains is developed out of a body of work that meditates upon the irrefutable traces of past events that will not disappear, that resurface and cannot be forgotten.