Film still from \'Faded Wallpaper\' by Tina Keane
Tina Keane: still from Faded Wallpaper (20 mins)

\’Faded Wallpaper\’ by Tina Keane acquired by Tate

January 2018 

Tina Keane‘s pioneering, poetic film Faded Wallpaper (1988) has been acquired from England & Co by Tate, and is currently on view at Tate St Ives in Virginia Woolf: An Exhibition Inspired by her Writings.

Keane described this dream-like film as being “based loosely on the short story by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. Faded Wallpaper is concerned with visual perception, madness and the search for identity. A woman, isolated within a room, becomes obsessed with the wallpaper surrounding her, seeing within its faded patterns strange images – at times pleasurable and seductive, at times threatening and dangerous. As these images become more insistent she begins to strip the wallpaper away in an attempt either to banish the images or get to their source. Words and sounds run through her head as she peels away the layers, questioning her own self-image, her imagination and her sanity. No solutions are given, only more questions…”

The film was made over a period between 1986 to 1988, emerging from a series of performances with video. The film was an experimental work that led to Keane evolving and learning new technology: she said that she “invented the techniques to show the concept… the process of making the work was very important.”