Jessica Bronson

by Donald Goddard


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Panamint Tilt
© Jessica Bronson
Panamint Tilt, 2000.
DVD projection, dimensions variable.
Eyes are spheres within a roughly spherical head. They see a horizon line defining the edge of the earth's sphere within the sphere of the universe. They are, in other words, the edge of what they see, as is the camera. What Jessica Bronson presents in her two video installations is the limits, or the extent, of the known or knowable world, without details that might divert attention. Anything having to do with human or natural activity is avoided. Imagination itself is limited by this vision, as most concepts of heavens and hells and spirit world acknowledge. The subject is physics, but physics that has a biological source. The scene is Death Valley, California.


Both installations are, like the eyes themselves, binary. We are given both halves of the whole, as though there were no more. Everything is included, and anything outside of this, or inside it, would be beyond our scope. In Panamint Tilt, wall-size video images are projected opposite each other. One image is seen in the usual manner, with sky above and earth below, the other upside-down, with sky and earth reversed. The camera pans up and down so that at their extremes the sky fills one wall and the earth the other. Our own presence is registered in shadows, subsumed by the images, but not moving with them; that is beyond our reach. At the same time, we are like some species of alien imposed on the scene, a negative space or black hole. That enclosed, binary space, rather than the gallery, becomes the real world, which, I suppose, is the point of a gallery to begin with.
Panamint Tilt 2000
© Jessica Bronson
Panamint Tilt, 2000.
DVD projection, dimensions variable.

double sunset
© Jessica Bronson
double sunset, 2000-2001.
DVD rear-screen projection, each screen 3' x 4'.

In doubled sunset, the images are side by side and shown on 3-foot-by-4-foot rear projection video screens inset in the wall. Each screen has a double image, with upside-down view above merged seamlessly with normal view below. So there are actually four images, which have been digitally manipulated, and they move synchronously in opposite directions--as one becomes all earth, the other becomes all sky. With a fisheye lens the panoramic is more extreme than in Panamint Tilt, so that the horizon line curves more and as it opens and closes the two opposite images form mouth- or eye- or vagina-like configurations that open and close to breathe, to see, to feel. It is not we who do those things, it is the earth, the universe. Accompanying the images, for both installations, is a series of seemingly random, probably electronic, sounds that invade the space in an unidentifiable, and sometimes comic way, as when the sky compresses into earth a sound of something like distress or surprised reaction occurs. It is familiar but unknown.

Donald Goddard © 2001

Art Review - NewYorkArtWorld.com - NYAW.com All artwork is copyright of the respective owner or artist. All other material Copyright 2014 New York Art World ®. All Rights Reserved.


© Jessica Bronson
double sunset, 2000-2001.
DVD rear-screen projection, each screen 3' x 4'.


The exhibition was on view through June 23, 2001 at CRG Gallery, New York, NY


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