Liesbeth Marit is a director and photographer. Marit speaks through images, both photographic and cinematic. She allows the two mediums to partially overlap, as evidenced by the striking tension between the stills and the slowness of the moving images. Marit began making short films in 2008: Landscape, Lipstick 1 and 2 (2008-2009), Bounce Underground (2009). Her fourth production, One Way of Going (2011) is a film without dialogue, a visual poem. In her most recent production, YURI and the frustration of our ponies (2012), she focuses on narrative and the spoken word for the first time. Marit is currently working on her debut full-length feature VEE (release 2016-2017). Her photographic work is related to her films. The images were taken while scouting for locations, and during the search for suitable sets and situations for her films. From these photographs, she writes her scenes and determines the atmosphere. Gradually, the pictures become autonomous. The spaces in the photographs are empty, even when a figure is present. It feels as though something is about to happen, or has just happened. In the void and anticipation (of action), time has an almost physical presence.
There is time
The work of Liesbeth Marit (b. 1979) develops out of the tension between stillness and movement. This is not only true of the photographs that she mounts on small light boxes – they are screens, suggesting movement, where only 'stasis' reigns. We can see interiors, rooms and other strange spaces that could just as easily be film sets or maquettes. Do these places actually exist, or are they Marit’s own carefully lit constructions? With such a hypothesis, one is closer to the truth. The woman behind the camera studied painting, but is today working with video and film. No doubt she looks at her surroundings in relation to the scenarios that she wishes to film, searching for locations – landscapes and interiors – that can play a role in a story. The photographs on the light boxes are thus 'stills', in every sense of the word.
In the two short film clips presented in the gallery, it appears as though very little, or almost nothing, happens. This initial impression would not, however, be correct, since there is a lot to see in these ‘motionless images’. Things change almost imperceptibly, or something occurs at the very edge of the frame, like a phase shift in minimal music. As autonomous images, they are extraordinarily powerful, and their introspective, even meditative silence and stillness offers up a number of unexpected details: the subtle play of light, or a running dog. The image in which the latter appears is a scene from Marit’s narrative short film "YURI and the frustration of our ponies" (2012). The light slowly follows its path, but the soundtrack is also deeply penetrative. Thus 'attention' becomes 'illusion' and, at the same time, concentration. Marit thus reveals the flow of time, but also how it condenses and solidifies. Until it appears to stand still.
Eric Min, August 2015