Jennifer Steinkamp (American, b. 1958), Rapunzel, 5, 2005. Video installation, 12' x 18' (3.66 x 5.49 m)
Jennifer Steinkamp (American, b. 1958) is a Los Angeles–based media and installation artist whose video animations explore nature, architecture, contemporary social issues, and the passage of time. This is the Clark’s inaugural video exhibition, featuring six of Steinkamp’s projections that encapsulate the themes and visual metaphors she has developed throughout her career. The exhibition includes a new work, Blind Eye, made for the Clark and inspired by the campus—specifically the birch trees that surround the galleries at the Lunder Center at Stone Hill.Nature, twisted and changed through technology, is Steinkamp’s signature subject, and since the late 1980s the artist has produced a wide range of computer-generated realities. Speaking particularly to the Clark’s focus on art and nature, as well as to the social and psychological complexities of nature, Steinkamp’s moving trees and swaying flowers engage with this unique environment.By rewriting existing computer code, primarily using the 3-D animation software Maya, Steinkamp transforms Tadao Ando’s imposing yet serene architectural spaces with light, dematerializing walls and filling the indoors with hyperreal and, simultaneously, clearly artificial mimicry of organic forms. Steinkamp’s colorful moving images disorient and lull the viewer into a sense of calm—a world both familiar and foreign, real and virtual.
The Clark Art Institute, Massachusetts
June 30 - October 8, 2018