‘ Beyond the Tyranny of the Predictable’ Richard Cork. TSWA3D catalogue 1987
Extract on Judith Goddard's Television Circle
Since stone-age settlements still leave their trace on Dartmoor, the man made objects most closely associated with the region are megalithic stone groups. Taking such images as her starting-point, Judith Goddard has assembled a circle of seven standing cubic forms in a forest clearing. As we approach them, however, their prehistoric associations drop away. For these stern presences are made of steel, and they contain television monitors behind their shatterproof perspex screens. The rural stillness is thereby invaded by the imagery of technological communications, and Goddard stresses the most forbidding aspects of that world by scrutinising cooling towers, pylons, tower blocks and multinational companies’ headquarters, all filmed at twilight so that they appear at their most sinister. The juxtaposition of these twentieth-century power structures with Bellever Forest could hardly be more jarring, and Goddard shows where her values lie by intercutting another set of images, of ancient amber, the Greek word for which is Electron. Fragments from William Blake’s Jerusalem are heard in its stirring hymn version on the tapes soundtrack. The video therefore returns us to the forest, a silent survivor of the primeval ‘age of innocence’ which Blake so damningly compared with the shortcomings of his own period.