Installed in Los Angeles,
a matter of seconds
engaged the viewer’s body by pointing out details of the interior
and exterior architecture: the glass storefront that divides the
art space from the street, the door jamb and length of wall around
it, the height and temporal dimension of the space’s existing
interior walls, and the corner between wall and floor. This use
of space was as important to the reception of the work as its
visual representation. The work elaborated on a pre-filmic representation
of movement, with still photographs evoking movement in real space
and time. It asked: is vision tactile? In that visitors had to move
their heads from side to side, as if watching tennis, perhaps the
motion presented here was not illusory but real.
a matter of seconds became the basis
for five different works: 3–4 seconds, pulse, murder,
shadow, and movie poster. Each was made in an edition of
three (plus artist’s proofs). Conventional distinctions between
photography, printmaking, and painting were disrupted when the photographic
‘truth’ of events was re-presented and repeated in different forms.
a matter of seconds (3–4 seconds). 26 black and white
images printed full frame; each image c. 14 × 20”.
The photographic prints were
pinned to the wall in a configuration alluding to the movement of its
subject, a beer glass rolling down a slanting plane. This simple event
was recorded using a handheld 35mm camera with a motor drive set at
eight frames per second.
When the piece is installed, the images are
laid out according to their positions during the event, combined with
the logic of midday sun: the number of the negative, the shadow and
reflection of the sun on the glass, and the edge of the plane down
which the glass rolled are all taken into account. Because of the
multitude of variables in recording the event, the depiction or
interpretation of it in the gallery changes each time the piece is
When hanging the work, squinting your eyes will create the
illusion of movement from image to image of the glass. It will also
elide the frame of each print, and hence the framing of the image in
the viewfinder of the camera.
a matter of seconds (shadow). Oil-based ink printed on 5
Formica panels; each panel c. 11 × 14”.
Since the rolling of the glass occurred very quickly, there was no time
to consciously frame each image of it. In shadow the frame is cropped so
that the image rests in line with the x-y axis of the wall grid. It is
further manipulated through the process of photo silkscreen.
The images are printed on white Formica, which has then been mounted on
plywood that is beveled to create an actual shadow on the wall. Faint
and low contrast, the image comes and goes as the viewer walks by; its
visibility is dependent on the viewer’s relationship to a light source
in the room. The shadow on the wall, on the other hand, is consistently
a matter of seconds (murder). 5 color and 5 black and white photographs; each 3 × 3”.
The premise that a legal document inherently holds ‘truth’ is pitted
against a retelling of the simple event of a glass rolling. Photographs
offer a documented truth that may easily, however, become fictionalized.
Murder employs the photographs of the glass and a group of found forensic
photographs. The cropping of the black and white photographs down to the
scale and size of the forensic images, the use of the floor as if it were
a continuation of the floor in the forensic images, and the repeated,
fluid order of the initial frames recording the movement of the glass
engage the viewers’ space as they squat down to see the work.
devices set up a binary opposition between two events: the glass rolling
and the forensic photographer doing his job. Each is recorded with a
camera and hung in a numbered sequence, but because of our visceral,
physical identification with an image of a murder victim, the binary
structure is disrupted. The event of murder lies outside photographic
representation; just as the introduction of forensic photographs into the
art gallery disrupts the cultural representation of ‘art’, the event of
murder disrupts the overtly controlled binary structure.
a matter of seconds (pulse). Oil-based silkscreen on
canvas with oil ground; 41” × 11’6”.
The colors of this work cannot be properly duplicated because the yellow
is somewhat fluorescent and the gray is slightly tinged with rose madder
and violet. As a result, the printed image vibrates, offering a tactile
feeling to the eye.
The eleven and one-half foot canvas is the length of
the wall on which it hung in the gallery space. The last image printed wraps
around the side of the stretcher bar, so that in that installation it
butted up against the door jamb. The first image shows the glass being
held still by my hand, and it defines the upper-right corner of the
painting, as it is a stationary image. The fourth image defines the bottom
edge of the stretcher bar as it depicts the lowest part of the curve made
by the movement of the glass. The size of the canvas was defined by the
amount of space needed to show these first six frames of the rolling glass
when each image was printed the same size as those of 3–4 seconds.
a matter of seconds (movie poster). Oil-based silkscreen
printed on both sides of Chartham Translucent paper,
double-sided frame; 25‑3/4 × 38”.
movie poster involves a staged event illustrating the phrase ‘with a gun
to my head’. A photograph of this action is printed on the reverse of an
appropriated film still from the 1962 movie Hud (shot by James Wong Howe
on location in Texas). The close, shallow space of the staged photograph
contrasts with Hud’s classic depiction of American ‘freedom’—the
never-ending expanse of space, cut down the middle with a road. Hung in
the glass storefront of the gallery, the double-sided frame allowed
these two spaces to coexist in two different viewing spaces: the
conventional storefront display and the interior of the art gallery.