As part of the East End Film Festival, Four Corners presented a continuous screening of Lisa Byrne’s three short films, Taxi I, II & III.
Artist Lisa Byrne part funded her art practice by driving taxis in Northern Ireland. From these journeys with passengers she produced three short films which are dark, edgy and tinged with humor.
The camera relentlessly points directly to the passengers to reveal, through duration, an image they project of themselves. In their awareness of being filmed, they disguise and unfold information that holds their own tenuous direction. The camera on auto – self directs, according to the prevailing conditions of the perpetual motion of the taxi. This search for revealing and hiding in the constant in and out of focus through darkness and light is heightened through a parallel of the narrative of the passengers.
Taxi II New Years Day 2007 5am tells a story just after the event, recounting the previous passage of the drug dealing UFF paramilitary.
The absence of light for part of the journey resonates a psychological space required for the spectator to enter the piece. It is the real dark conditions of this desolate return journey where I was finally able to reveal the complexity of the previous journey to Adrian who extended his journey to protect me. The narrative is strengthened by the subtitles in darkness.
Through bombardment and repetition stories are told by taxi drivers of their experience of surviving paramilitary attack during the 80s and 90s in Northern Ireland. The work illustrates how scars from a troubled history still penetrate today.