– Spring/Summer 2001

Hilary Lloyd: The Work of Time

David Bussel

Hilary Lloyd, Monika, Production Still, 2000. Courtesy of the artist and Sadie Coles HQ.

Hilary Lloyd, Monika, Production Still, 2000. Courtesy of the artist and Sadie Coles HQ.

Hilary Lloyd: The Work of Time1

My films are just a way of taking up time.
- Andy Warhol

You could do more things watching my movies than with other kinds of movies; you could eat and drink and smoke and cough and look away and then look back and they'd still be there.
- Andy Warhol

Hilary Lloyd's working method goes something like this. She meets people on the streets of London, in clubs, bars, wherever and approaches them to collaborate on a piece. The fact that these people belong to certain urban subcultures - DJs, clubbers, skateboarders, etc - is secondary as their identities are never disclosed as such. The shoot for the work often takes place over a single day, though sometimes, such as with Landscape (1999), it can extend over several months. All her work employs a static camera and is shot on Super 8 or video (High 8 and Mini DV). There are no costumes, no sets, no scripts, no soundtracks and no assistants - only what is available at the specific location on that particular day. Lloyd provides her collaborators with instructions for a task which they 'interpret' to their liking, discussing the work's duration and other details with the artist. The footage for the piece is then selected without any editing by Lloyd. Finally, the work is presented as an installation using monitors and video players on the UNICOL system, standardised display units consisting of a platform, pole and base as an armature for the monitor. Often, she incorporates the equipment's flight cases into the installation itself.

The people in Lloyd's work are strangers

  1. See Peter Gidal, Andy Warhol, Films and Paintings: The Factory Years, New York: Da Capo Press, 1991. Originally published in London: Studio Vista, 1971

  2. On the technologies of perception, see Jonathan Crary, Suspensions of Perception: Attention, Spectacle, and Modern Culture, Cambridge: MIT Press, 1999

  3. Polly Staple, 'Precious Time', Untitled, no.11, Spring 2000, pp.7-9