Following on the heels of the 2006 performance of A
Seasome Medley, the same group of artists now
presents their second collaborative endeavor, Vision Request. An exhibition
and collaborative performance hosted by Andrea Zittel and organized by
Jennifer Dudley, Sarrita Hunn, and Ben Kinsley, Vision Request took place
on Saturday, May 19th, 2007 at A-Z West in Joshua Tree, CA. During this
one day event, works made by individual artists were on view, culminating
in the performance of a Play of Light and Shadow at twilight.
The exhibition included a desert monad, an in-ground tea ceremony, an
anthropomorphic billboard, a miniature railroad through the West, a burying
place for all strangers, a Super 8 projection, and the remains of something
truly horrific. These individual projects, and many others, were accompanied
by the collaborative work of all the Vision Request artists, the Play
of Light and Shadow. A natural rock amphitheater illuminated by flashlights
set the stage for the play and the narrative took a séance as its
point of departure.
Just as the medium in a séance acts as a conduit between the physical
and spiritual realms, one understanding of the artist is as an interpreter
of culture or history through the physicality of his or her media. Our
media in this performance was a shadow play, which is part of the historical
lineage of proto-cinematic approaches for creating illusions that includes
Phantasmagoria, spinning Fantascope, and Magic Lantern shows. By creating
an illusion that reveals its own construction, such devices encourage
imaginative participation, allowing the viewer to simultaneously play
the magician and the deceived. In such a situation the artist is neither
a medium for spirits, nor universal expressions of history or culture.
Rather, the artist opens up a space for a conversation about the role
of illusion to take place. It is just such a space that Vision Request
invites you to occupy.
The Vision Request artists are Colleen Asper, Elena Bajo, Katie Creyts,
Benjamin Dowell, Craig Drennen, Jennifer Dudley, Takehito Etani, Sarrita
Hunn, Ben Kinsley, Yvonne Lung, Katja Mater, Lilly McElroy, Andrew Scott
Ross, Adam Shecter, Mark Taber, Montana Torrey, Louisa Van Leer, and Robert
thanks to Andrea Zittel and our documentary crew: Matthew Hughes Boyko,
Ben Bunch, Victoria Fu, and Ryan Thayer.
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Request by Colleen Asper for Beautiful/Decay,
by Jennifer Dudley and Sarrita Hunn for Skowhegan School of Painting and
Sculpture Newsletter, Fall 2007