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image: Marcus Lyall Slow Service Digital Video Collection of the artist.

Marcus Lyall
Australia
United Kingdom 1971–2001

Slow Service
digital video

Collection of the artist.


This series of video portraits depict strange amorphous shapes moving towards a person on screen. The anticipation of the arrival of the substance – and the revelation of what the substance is – creates an alluring tension. As the substance arrives, literally on the face of the person, it is revealed to be food.

Inspired by the work of photographers Eadweard Muybridge and Harold Edgerton (both represented in the Gallery’s collection), Marcus Lyall uses innovative technology to present a different way of seeing motion.

Slow Service utilises a high-speed digital video camera – normally used to film mine detonations and military tests – to capture action in ultra-slow motion. With an almost scientific visual accuracy, one actual second becomes 40 screen seconds. In this elongated moment we see the transition from artificial to natural – the subject’s formal pose involuntarily changing in reaction to the food hurtling towards them.