Kristin Lucas: "alias"

by Donald Goddard


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© Kristin Lucas
Involuntary Reception Video Still
At the beginning of her double videodisc projection Involuntary Reception, Kristin Lucas says, "I can see you but you're not going to be able to see me later. Like when you are playing this back because my EPF (electromagnetic pulse field) will just erase the tape."

Of course, you do see her, identically in both projections (though layered with computer imagery and a horizontal sound wave on the right), just her head facing us, talking to us throughout the 17-minute piece, and appearing periodically, very dour, matter-of-fact, almost flaccid. She is also right. You don't see her, it's her image. But the tape hasn't been erased. It's delusional that her EPF has erased it. But perhaps she is right about this too, or at least correct, or accurate. We should believe her. We should honor her. Anyway, maybe this is another tape or another person. Or, maybe the voice doesn't belong to the image.

© Kristin Lucas
Involuntary Reception Video Still

The form is paranoid-schizophrenic, two halves of the same person receiving commands or impulses, and threats, from some other source. Mirror images of the artist collapse toward the center creating definitive inward boundaries and obviating the eccentricity of the human face, which is itself asymmetrical, and of human experience. In one sequence she is seen frontally, from about the level of the handlebars, riding down the street on a bicycle, the images of herself adjacent to each other, spreading out from the center or in toward the center like a Rorschach test. As she advances toward us on the street, the buildings seem to open up while at the same time closing down around her.


© Kristin Lucas
Involuntary Reception Video Still

Later, her two torsos spin in opposite directions, encompassing the universe of self in which she lives. The fear is of only being electromagnetic, or electromagnetically determined, of being institutionalized. How strangely familiar that is, even, or more likely especially, in this electronic age in which everything can be reconstituted to come out right. She is fearful of hurting or killing other animals and people, as indeed we have always done, though now the possibilities for not doing so seem less available.


© Kristin Lucas
Involuntary Reception Video Still

We have command of untold trillions of particles, but it is not enough to put together more than a generic waiting room or waiting space (as in an earlier work called Between a Rock and a Hard Drive), or mall, or vacation, or casino as in this work. And that questions the nature of art itself, which depends on such fabrication. It's like the chess player who goes mad not because the possibilities of play are infinite and he can't hope to realize them but because they are finite and he can. Kristin Lucas carries this weight.

Donald Goddard © 2001


The exhibition was at Postmasters, 459 West 19th Street, New York, NY 10011. .Illustrations from Kristin Lucas, Involuntary Reception, 2000. Two-channel DVD color video installation with stereo sound, 17 minutes.


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