Friday, April 10, 2015

"End of Empire" Dallas Medianale exhibit reviewed in DMagazine

"the Nelsons’ piece is the highlight of the show. It consists of four projectors – a 16 mm, super 8 mm, video and slide projectors – each projecting on the wall a piece of an image of the Kodak headquarters in Rochester, New York. The result is a static image that is also a composite collage of mediums.

You don’t need the reference in title to immediately think of Andy Warhol’s film Empire. Like Warhol’s work, the Nelsons’ piece takes up questions implicit to the nature of film – the way filmic documentation transforms time into an abstraction, for instance – while also exposing the contingency of cinematic aesthetics on technology and economics. Ephemerality is built into the piece; the 16 mm and 8 mm celluloid will gradually deteriorate during the work’s life and eventually there won’t be any film stock being produced to restore or replace it. That active deterioration almost makes the projectors themselves feel like a kind of assemblage sculpture, while it is also directly relates the entire piece to the allegorical reference of Kodak’s towering corporate headquarters. There’s a wonderful irony here: the art work isn’t merely presenting an image, but is participating in a temporality that is directly related to the ephemeral nature of economic power, the use-and-dispose capitalistic life cycle symbolized by the conglomerated image of architectural monumentality."

excerpt from "Even if You Can’t Pronounce the Name, the Dallas Medianale Demands to Be Seen"

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