Inspired by Pontormo’s Mannerist painting Visitation (c. 1528–9), The Greeting is a video image sequence projected onto a screen mounted to the wall of a dark room. Two women are seen engaged in conversation. Industrial buildings are visible behind them, aligned in a strange perspective within a barren urban background. As the two women are talking, they are interrupted by a third woman who enters and approaches them. As they prepare to greet her, it becomes apparent that one of the women knows her quite well, the other less so or perhaps not at all. A slight wind comes up and the light subtly shifts as the new woman arrives to greet the ones she knows, ignoring the other. As the two embrace, she leans and whispers something to her friend, further isolating the other woman. With an underlying awkwardness, introductions are then made and pleasantries exchanged among the three.

Presented as a single take from a fixed camera position and projected in a vertical aspect ratio more common to painting, the actions of the figures are seen in extreme slow motion. An original event of forty-five seconds now unfolds as an elaborate choreography over the course of ten minutes. Subtle aspects of the scene become apparent. The unconscious body language and nuances of fleeting glances and gestures become heightened and remain suspended in the viewer’s conscious awareness. Minor shifts in light and wind conditions become central events. At times the background becomes foreground, and other figures are seen in the darker spaces behind the central figures, engaged in unknown activities. The geometry of the walls and buildings appears to violate the laws of optical perspective, and this, together with ambiguities in lighting, all lend a subjective character to the overall scene. In the end, none of the figure’s actions or intentions are explained or become apparent. The precise meaning of the event remains in circulation as an ambiguous, speculative gesture.