Ceal Floyer’s works are characterised by the interplay between a subtle imagery and use of forms, and her trenchant and humorous deployment of language, images and media, with the hidden agenda of sharpening our perception. In her idiosyncratic minimalist and poetic approach, the conceptual artist has been dealing with contemporary objects, images and media in her installations and performances for almost 30 years, creating historical testimonies that, through their simplicity and directness, cause us to pause and question what we take for granted.
When selecting the subjects for her images, Floyer is often guided by the nature of the media she is using and always takes the titles of her works literally, as in as in her wall-sized projection, Peel. In it, white wallpaper seems to be gradually coming away from the upper-right-hand corner of the wall until it has completely peeled off. However, instead of the raw wall, another white surface is revealed underneath whereupon the process is repeated and the next layer of wallpaper peels off. The projection is a continuous loop that creates the impression that the museum wall is being stripped away, one layer at a time. For this simulation, Floyer used the Adobe Premiere computer software’s tool of the same name which was in common use when Peel was created. The video editing programme’s “peel” effect symbolised the turning of a page when transitioning between frames. By projecting the programme function witout any image content, Floyer makes a mockery of the tool and turns the effect itself into the subject matter.