April 7 - May 13, 2001
Simon Lee shows an animated first generation projection that uses light and chance to create a story through the coincidental collision of objects, dust and photographs. Made for Smack Mellon's cavernous and unique space, ten overhead projectors beam images through a 24' pool of water onto a screen in the center of the gallery.
Shadows, images and objects swim across the screen in patterns that establish themselves then dissipate to chaos and then calm. Shadows are first generation quality -- in photographic terms they are the picture as it is being taken -- unrepeatable images that because of their familiarity are sometimes ignored or not really seen. When two moving shadows meet surprising things begin to happen, unexpected images are evoked, and the nature of the reality behind them begins to shift.
As a part of her interest in drawing, drawing with light, drawing with video etc.,
Claire Lesteven has developed a photographic practice using cylindrical multi-aperture camera obscurae. The resulting images are constituted of overlapping fragments of 360¼ cityscape views.
Art News critic, Jeffrey Swartz has written that "by making images which are the circular wrapping of the very eye that has taken them, Lesteven is able to absorb city space, not from the outside looking in but from the inside out".
Most recently, this work has been carried out in the contrasting qualities of light in New York and Marseille (in the Mediterranean south of Lesteven's native France). Intensity of light is needed to capture the architectural forms whose identity and presence Lesteven seeks to reveal. A crossroads in D.U.M.B.O. becomes an encounter between several buildings, leaning towards each other, a French soccer stadium envelopes the viewer, and warehouses in France or New York open out their insides to become environments.
A series of photographs will be shown at Smack Mellon, as well as the first showing of two of Lesteven's new camera obscura video works.