Curated a small video show for Brooklyn-based artist Erin Shirreff in YBCA’s upstairs Video Lounge.
Description Erin Shirreff, informed by her training in sculpture, explores the physical and technical aspects of image production in an effort to extend and examine the act of looking. This practice can be seen in the video Lake. Projected onto a freestanding wall, the work foregrounds the tension between a flat image and its three-dimensional physical support, providing an experience that is less cinematic, and more sculptural.
Starting with a picture of a lakeside landscape, taken from a 1980s tourist brochure advertising her bucolic hometown of Kelowna in British Columbia, Shirreff made several different digital versions of the image in Photoshop. In some of these she subtly altered the weather in the landscape by darkening the sky or brightening the sunny glare; in others she adjusted the overall color palette to evoke different eras of offset press production. She then printed and rephotographed these images in her studio using various analog lighting effects. The images resulting from this process were assembled into the slow-moving montage of Lake.
Throughout the video’s long duration, the illumination of the scene mimics the bright light of the sun and moon, drawing the viewer into the semblance of a natural landscape. This experience alternates with an awareness by the viewer of the techniques used to create this illusion, brought on by the play of effects across the surface of the photograph. In Shirreff’s videos, this fluctuation between natural and artificial affect, stillness and motion, flatness and depth, creates an uncanny visual experience that disrupts our familiar relationship with pictures, reminding us that they are textured, temporal things.