4. False land, 2019
The title False land takes origin in the legend that oceanic mirages were acts of magic, performed by the Arthurian sorceress Morgan le Fay, whose dominion of the sea conjured phantom lands that disorientated and lured sailors to their perils.
In False land the artist engages telephotographic equipment to trace a boat’s journey beneath the horizon. Filmed in Belfast, a maritime city that owes its existence to the sea, the single-shot film negotiates the limits of human and technological sight, and the movable space between the horizon and the ends of visibility.
As the curvature of the horizon is not something that is perceived to the naked eye, systems of orientation, time and space have largely revolved around a unified, flat line. Echoing the considerations of renaissance painting, Doyle formally invokes this history, whilst documenting an action that enacts a relation between multiple detachments —the camera and the disappearing subject— and the form and growing distance between the two. From this exchange develops an image that bears both linear and non-linear perspectives, articulating a departure from the observation of a distant past, and an embrace of the formal problematic.