Paul Eachus and Nooshin Farhid Variations on a Ballistic Theme


29 February – 22 March, 2020 

Variations on a Ballistic Theme is a video trilogy and sculptural installation by Paul Eachus and Nooshin Farhid, with improvised incidental music by David Ben White. Central to the installation is a ninety-minute cycle of video works in three parts, completed and extended by Farhid following the passing of Eachus. This body of work combines installations, animations, texts and moving images, working with on and offline material. Eachus’ work mainly comprised drawings, photoworks and installations, while Farhid’s work is primarily concerned with the moving image, installations and the production of texts. The artists’ practices overlap through an interest in collage and fragmentation: a form of critical engagement within which the idea of meaning can be unfixed, unrestrained and multiple. Eachus and Farhid extend the idea of fragmentation into a space where events, both real and fictional, intersect and can form new relations. Narratives appear and disappear, crisscross and become entrapped within the trajectory of other forms of assemblage. Their work presents an excess of visual and referential material that resists being subsumed under systems of categorisation. 

Paul Eachus & Nooshin Farhid, Panta Rhei, digital video 2019 (still). Courtesy of the artist.

The three video works in the trilogy are: 

A Bullet in the absence of Air Resistance

Which takes its references from established historical events, reconstructing them outside the continuity of their time and space. Violence is the main contour throughout the film, sitting alongside historically significant events and inconsequential, frivolous or even irrelevant incidents. 

Panta Rhei 

Which depicts a Heraclitan world of nature deteriorated as a result of ecological calamity; a trajectory along which bodies are located within the wreckage of dilapidated structures, witnessing a world in the process of being annihilated. 

Snakes and Ladders

Which references chance as well as means of ascent and descent, where bodies are forced to manoeuvre within the confines of a symbolic game; a game which reveals itself as the embodiment of a gigantic machine, a governing system of domination and state-controlled social practices.