DORA BUDOR Adaptation of an instrument

Dreamlands: Immersive Cinema and Art, 1905–2016 at Whitney Museum of American Art, NYC

Dreamlands: Immersive Cinema and Art, 1905–2016 focuses on the ways in which artists have dismantled and reassembled the conventions of cinema—screen, projection, darkness—to create new experiences of the moving image. The exhibition fills the Museum’s 18,000-square-foot fifth-floor. The exhibition’s title refers to the science fiction writer H.P. Lovecraft’s alternate fictional dimension, whose terrain of cities, forests, mountains, and an underworld can be visited only through dreams. Similarly, the spaces in Dreamlands connects different historical moments of cinematic experimentation, creating a story that unfolds across a series of immersive spaces. The exhibition is the most technologically complex project mounted in the Whitney’s new building to date, embracing a wide range of moving image techniques, from hand-painted film to the latest digital technologies. The works on view use color, touch, music, spectacle, light, and darkness to confound expectations, flattening space through animation and abstraction, or heightening the illusion of three dimensions. Dreamlands spans more than a century of works by American artists and filmmakers, and also includes a small number of works of German cinema and art from the 1920s with a strong relationship to, and influence on, American art and film. Featured are works in installation, drawing, 3-D environments, sculpture, performance, painting, and online space, by Trisha Baga, Ivana Bašić, Frances Bodomo, Dora Budor, Ian Cheng, Bruce Conner, Ben Coonley, Joseph Cornell, Andrea Crespo, François Curlet, Alex Da Corte, Oskar Fischinger, Liam Gillick, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Pierre Huyghe, Alex Israel, Mehdi Belhaj Kacem and Pierre Joseph, Aidan Koch, Lynn Hershman Leeson, Anthony McCall, Josiah McElheny, Syd Mead, Lorna Mills, Jayson Musson, Melik Ohanian, Philippe Parreno, Jenny Perlin, Mathias Poledna, Edwin S. Porter, Oskar Schlemmer, Hito Steyerl, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Stan VanDerBeek, Artie Vierkant, and Jud Yalkut, among others. Dora Budor’s installation « Adaptation of an Instrument »is an immersive enviroment that engages remnants of fictional cinematic history with neurological experiencing of architecture seen as a reactive biological structure. The installation acts like a living organism, responding to the frequency of human activity in the space. Motion detector system tracks the frequency of movement at the entrance and floor, and sends the signal to the light system which travels from the ground to the ceiling. The ceiling, when illuminated reveals the structure of resin cast panels that preserve screen-used frogs from PT Andreson’s movie ‘Magnolia’(1999). A « rain of frogs » seems on the verge of movement above the viewer. Every movement the viewer makes in the space triggers the electrical impulse, and illuminates different part of the wall and ceiling. The whole room acts like the neurological synapses of the brain - outside movement becomes electrical impulse, translated into light flickering, that intensifies with the movement and illuminates the structure above. The frequency of motion in the environment activates the sculpture: it is alive only when there is life present in it, and becomes darker when the frequency of the movement is lower. The installation exists only for and with the visitors, reflecting back upon them, and also transforming the exhibition space into a living organism - one which exists only when inhabited. The walls, based on architectural plans from the movie ‘Cube’ act like transmitters of electricity, and the LED light system can be seen travelling from the ground to the ceiling. Walls become exposed like a machinoid neurological structure. The whole installation is made out of steel, plexiglas, electrical wiring with LEDs, cast semi-transparent resin panels with frogs embedded in them, and motion detectors. Courtesy of the artist and New Galerie with the support of Pomeranz Collection, Vienna. Additional support by Fabien Pacory Advisory, China

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