Runa Islam

Artist in Residence: 8 March – 14 April 2007

Two Rooms premiers in New Zealand Be The First To see What You See As You see It by British artist Runa Islam. This work was shown in Rosa Martinez’s Arsenale exhibition at the 2005 Venice Biennale.

Runa Islam uses cinema as a source of information and inspiration. Her film and video installations use overlapping layers of narrative to explore notions of truth and fiction, subjectivity and authorship. Her work aims to blur the distinctions between film and sculpture, art and cinema, and encourages a range of interpretations from viewers.

Be The First To see What You see As You see It is an hypnotic, slow-motion film portraying a young woman passing through a gallery of fine white china displayed on pedestals. After toying with the objects, the woman begins gently pushing the plates off their stands, observing them intently as they smash on the floor. Filmed in slow motion and referencing the first slow-motion test film which showed a man shattering a jug of water, the piece is, in part, an attempt to capture the un-recordable moment of transformation as the objects break into pieces.

Runa Islam was born in 1970 in Dhaka, Bangladesh. She lives and works in London, UK. She has participated in many group exhibitions, including The Venice Biennale (2005), More than This! Negotiating Realities, Göterborg International Biennale for Contemporary Art (2005) and 8th International Istanbul Biennial (2003). Solo exhibitions include UCLA Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2005), Dunkers Kulturhus, Helsingborg (2005), Camden Arts Centre, London (2005), Centre d’Art Santa Monica, Barcelona (2005) and MIT List Visual Arts Centre, Cambridge, Massachussetts (2003)

Runa Islam, Be The First To see What You see As You see It, 2004