BECOME VIDEO INSTALLATION by Frank Conway
Become, is a video-based art installation project that investigates the experience of illness and its powerful effect on the mind, body and perception of an artist.
Fred Conlon’s sudden and traumatic encounter with cancer generated a deeper level of his understanding about humanity and about the goodwill of people.
Become is his tribute to the care, goodwill and generosity of the medical profession.
BECOME is also an exploration of his transformation on many levels. Fred had to embrace the fact that his creative work had to change to accommodate the new person he had become.
This is a record of him and his 'dealings to find this new person'.
Whilst BECOME is an art-form in its own right, its intent is to inspire and provide a service to medical professionals, care centres, relatives and people with similar problems to cope with change.
The installation gave Fred in his terminal illness the sense of a special mission which helped to maintain his spirit. Fred accepted the inevitable right from the start. He did not relinquish a vision of the future. He found purpose and meaning to his illness. Fred did not dwell on the ineffable question “Why me?” He saw death as a natural part of life.
The installation takes the form of projected images on 4 screens, with sound being a powerful and subtle component. One screen shows Fred in his disabled condition, in an empty room, sitting silently looking out beyond the camera. It is a moving image with all the elements of a classically expressed portrait.
Opposite this screen are 3 screens with imagery extracted from the transcript of his conversation about the nature of what has become of him. These images are expressed in a manner evocative
of memory, engaging with the spectator in a visceral way.
They express the physicality of his previous sculptural work, the landscape that has been such an influence on his spirit, the effect of being in hospital, the sounds of people 'going through their personal agonies' that he likened to the sounds of the wild; the operation, the impact of the suffering of others, the care of the medical profession.