AES+F’s The Liminal Space Trilogy is a colossal work – a mesmerising cocktail of iconography, allegory and art history, combined with a potent mix of spiritual and religious imagery to present a three part video piece as visually sophisticated as it is intoxicatingly attractive.
Breath-taking and utterly compelling in its back and forth narrative; the trilogy attempts to re-address the biblical order of things. Rooted in a hyperreal world in which humans are merited with beauty and intelligence, whilst also burdened with anger, and the ability for grave acts of violence, AES+F recall some of the most significant works of art and literature from history. Each of the contemporary parables appear to serve as a precursor to an alternative state, heaven, purgatory or perhaps a hellish dystopia, where all roads converge to await time and fate – the liminal space.
It is AES+F’s ability to re-appropriate history so effectively that energises this absorbing epic trilogy. The overlapping characters are choreographed in tightly staged scenes, wavering between the borderlands of life and death. Individually, each of the films with their elaborate use of technologies, costume and cast, all appear to address morality as though the eyes of a newer testament. Reincarnation is a play on Giovanni Bellini’s painting Allegoria Sacra (1490-1500); The Golden Boat references one of the leading characters – Trimalchio – from a work of fiction entitled Satyricon by Petronius, first century AD; and the The Pink Train recalls something of the barbarism of Rubens’ The Massacre of the Innocents (1636-38), seething and chaotic, but beautiful in its violence.