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Thursday July 31, 2014
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Mary Lucier

 

continued

"a live spirit," "abandoned churches."

Visitors sit at one of eight small wooden desk-chairs set in pairs at corners of a cube formed by four three-by-four-yard video screens. In the center of the room, two back-to-back plasma TVs offer images complementing the screens. This visual bath is accompanied by a soundtrack that begins with haunting ambient minor-key tones, as the screens show long roads leading into a far horizon and wide, wintry plains landscapes. The TVs meanwhile offer a summer view of a hand holding a moving grasshopper.

On the large screens, the camera travels at dog height through brown grass, coming upon an abandoned barn. Scenes follow of paint-peeling empty houses, no longer homes, stark in weedy surroundings. The camera eye often simply rests quietly for a while on a desolate scene, allowing the screen to fill with melancholy.

The camera moves indoors to show wind moving a ragged schoolbook on a lidded desk with a hole for an inkwell. One room shows faded wallpaper depicting white poppies. Another has a blue table, a kettle-topped woodstove, and a cupboard opened to show a meager array of dishes and glasses signifying the austerity of the lives of the homes' vanished occupants.

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