Thursday, October 9, 2008


The Ultralounge hosts a new installation by Tracey Snelling

Woman on the Run in Selfridges’ Ultralounge runs 9 October – 9 November

·          9 October – 9 November in the Ultralounge, lower ground floor, Selfridges Oxford StreetLondon
·          Opening times (during store hours): Monday to Saturday 9:30am to 8pm – Thursday until 9pm - Sunday noon to 6pm
·          Admission free
·          All art on display from Woman on the Run is on sale
·          Prices from around £5,000

Selfridges concludes its 2008 arts programme with Woman on The Run, a new work by American-born and based conceptual artist Tracey Snelling. This year the Ultralounge has played host to a wide variety of shows spanning media from photography to street art and Selfridges is delighted to change gear once more and present, with Woman on The Run, an installation that intricately mixes architecture, scale modeling, video, photography and 3-D story telling with a heady dose of Hollywood glamour and Hitchcock-like built-in suspense.

Woman on The Run is a multimedia project exploring a fragmented narrative about a fated woman. The main character, a combination of heroines and femme fatales from 1950’s and 1960’s film noir is trying to escape her fate. A crime has taken place, and she is wanted for questioning. Throughout the installation, different clues are given about what might have happened and who the woman is. Is she the victim, or the perpetrator? A study in feminism or an example of outdated ideas?

An alternate world of shrunken buildings, neon signs, and a life size motel offer a selection of clues that conspire to initially draw the viewer to the action and then help them thread together the disconnected story that just happened. The viewer quickly becomes a witness and to some extent an actor within the story, often assuming the role of a detective. Video plays in windows and conversations can be overheard. Reality becomes based more in perception than in absolutes. The blacks and whites of life shift to grey, and the truth becomes shrouded in mystery.

Tracey Snelling has been interested in the idea of reality being something that continually changes, due to perception and according to an individual’s ideals and own subjectivity. Tracey explores this viewpoint through shifting scale and presenting a particular subject in a myriad of ways. A large building can inspire a small sculpture of that building, which in turns becomes a photograph and eventually gets incorporated into another piece of art. Tracey uses much video in the sculptures – usually of people, sometimes doing mundane activities, repeated continually. Other times the characters might remain the same but the actions that are repeated change slightly and contradict each other. Influences in Tracey’s work are heavily anchored in Americana and fed by post-war US popular culture from literature to cinema, while her work consistently and simultaneously celebrates, demystify and re-interpret those cultural clich├ęs with the view to making them both timeless and fresh.

Woman on the Run is presented in the Ultralounge from 9 October while another piece by Tracey Snelling extends the narrative and the impact of the installation into Selfridges’ largest window (at the corner of Oxford Street and Orchard Street). Woman on the Run is a composite of separate pieces of art which can all be purchased.

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Editor’s notes:

·           Tracey Snelling was born in Oakland, California in 1970. She majored in Physical Science before focusing on the study of Art and particularly photography. She has had several solo exhibitions, especially in the USA and has contributed works to many installations around Europe and notably at Art Basel. 

·           Selfridges collaborates with artists of all kinds, from the up and coming to the eminent. For example Sam Taylor-Wood wrapped the Oxford Street store with the world’s largest artwork in May 2000 and, in January 2006 two contemporary Chinese artists – Wang Qingsong and Song Dong – created specially-created work for the store.

·           The Ultralounge is in the lower ground floor of Selfridges’ Oxford Street store. It was launched as a dedicated events space in February 2006. Since then it has featured events celebrating Punk, a Brian Eno video arts installation, Luminous, a celebration of Surrealism in collaboration with the V&A, and a retrospective of Swarovski’s Crystal Palace chandelier collections among other projects. In Autumn 2007 Lattice, an installation by sculptor Conrad Shawcross was commissioned by the store and in early Spring 2008, the show Exactitudes by Dutch artists Air Versus and Ellie Uyttenbroek generated huge critical and public interest.

About Selfridges
·The business was founded by American entrepreneur Gordon Selfridge in 1909 and run by him until he retired in 1940 and took on the role of President.  Gordon Selfridge died in 1947 and four years later Lewis’s Investment Trust bought a controlling interest in Selfridges.
·In 1965 Charles Clore’s British Shoe Corporation (subsequently the Sears Group) bought a controlling interest in Lewis’s Investment Trust and in doing so acquired Selfridges.
·In 1998 the company was de-merged from the Sears Group and floated on the London Stock Exchange.
·In 2003 Galen Weston purchased Selfridges.  He and his wife Hilary are closely involved with the development and growth of the company.
· Galen Weston is Chairman of the premier luxury goods company which, as well as Selfridges, includes Holt Renfrew in Canada and Brown Thomas in Ireland. 

For further information and images, please contact Selfridges PR manager Bruno Barba on +44 (0) 207 318 3204 or email