Installation in collaboration with Rae Davis: films, videos, sculpture,
Art Gallery of Windsor; Articule, Montreal; Koffler Gallery, Toronto
the following elements:
In the centre
of a space (approx. 15'x15') is a table (3'x5'). On the table
is heaped (to a height of 1 1/2') a mound of cutlery-knives, forks,
spoons jutting out at different angles. This sculptural element
will be lit from above on a dimmer program. From below a lighting
program involving power surges will both highlight the planes
of the cutlery and cast shadows. Table, lighting and cutlery will
be fabricated as on sculptural piece.
Each of two opposing
walls holds a black and white film image (8'x10'minimun); one,
the swelling surface of a body of water, the other, a white line
moving in changing directions (spiking, zig-zagging, looping)
on a black ground. These images filling the walls run in a seamless
at the head and foot of the table (and backing onto the blank
walls) are two vertical screens (3'x2') for rear projection, raised
slightly above table height. Picture, here on screen #1 the following
images: inside a winter hedge, a road with embedded glass shining,
images seen in passing through a train window, and a close-up
of hands gesturing metaphors for a story. On screen #2: a rocking
chair rocking, water moving uphill, E dancing up and down, D bobbing
in water, a woman washing her face in a basin, spiky sun like
fire, leaves fluttering, an axe splitting wood, water splashing
a child's face, shocking.
These two sets
of edited colour images differ in density and rhythm, presenting
two 'personalities'. They will run in a continuous loop format
with built in gaps or spaces.
The sound elements
may include ambient meal-time clatterings, amplified breathing,
and intermittent short personal memories arising from family meals.
Viewers need to
circulate around the table for the fullest view of all elements
in the installation. The room is unlit except for emanations from
the projections and table.
SURGE is an electric
term—a surge of power has potential to connect, to carry
information and also connotes a synapse, a break-up, compensation
for loss. SURGE is more than an electric term though. SURGE is
associated with water, with billowing. SURGE refers to a certain
kind of movement that exists in many life situations.
piece focuses on the home with its four walls and table—the
table is what you put the roof on. Family history is made around
the table. The heaped cutlery is both seductive and threatening,
suggestive of the shifting dynamics of experience. The table (and
viewer) is encompassed within the space between two wall images/
or, is housed between the two wall images—water (world)
and line (mind). The overall surface of the water image can be
seen simplified and abstracted in the movement of the drawn line.
The colour film imagery is more personal and evocative of a life
lived and a quality of individual sensibility. SURGE makes cross-references
between body and world in their multiple manifestations. SURGE
is a way of being in the world.
Rae Davis and Barbara Sternberg by Suzanne Farkas
Wow I wanna live there!; October, 2000 www.year01.com/issue7/surge.html
like a dream
that vanishes: the films of Barbara Sternberg
Parachute 98 Avr, Mai, Juin 2000
"Rae Davis et Barbara Sternberg"
by Christine Palmieri