Imaginative Feats Literally Presented/Three Fables for Projection: Guarded, Flat Land, Lost
Artists Jeanne C. Finley and John Muse explore the visual culture of America’s contemporary wars through three video works that will be exhibited in Haverford College’s Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery, October 23-December 11, 2009.
Imaginative Feats Literally Presented/Three Fables for Projection: Guarded, Flat Land, Lost peer through the imaginative gloss of words, photographs, and video images Americans use to prepare themselves for the wars on terror and in Iraq, presenting the lives of those who participate—either willingly or not.
In the sound/media installation Guarded, two video projectors, two DVD decks, and stereo speakers are mounted on a rotating platform in the center of the gallery. As it turns, the projectors throw images that follow each other around the opposing walls. Pieces of text, adapted from a Red Cross pamphlet entitled “Preparing for the Unexpected,” run through images of daily life.
Flat Land explores the visual culture of men and women at war by looking at publicly available images of “Flat Daddies,” two-dimensional life-size cutouts of soldiers used by families with young children to help them stay connected to their absent parent; and “Flat Stanleys,” small two-dimensional cutouts of a cartoon boy sent on worldwide adventures by American schoolchildren. Photographs are projected on opposite sides of a single projection screen, and speakers deliver two narrative accounts: one of Flat Stanley’s journey around the world, the other, a woman’s account of her Flat Daddy.
Lost pairs an Army Chaplain’s audio diary entry with a single evolving shot of a former military base, where fog both obscures and reveals details of the landscape. Original video footage reframes the moral ambiguities of the diary segment, which chronicles the shooting of an Iraqi during a house raid by American soldiers and their efforts to assist the man’s widow.
An opening reception will be held Friday, October 23 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. in the Gallery. In addition, a Gallery Talk will take place Saturday, October 24, at 4 p.m., moderated by Andrew Suggs, Executive Director of Vox Populi Gallery in Philadelphia.
Jeanne C. Finley, a Guggenheim Fellow and Alpert/Cal Arts Award winner, is a Professor of Media Arts at the California College of Arts in San Francisco.
John Muse is an Assistant Professor of Fine Arts at Haverford. He has a Ph.D. in Rhetoric from UC, Berkeley, and an M.F.A. in Photography from the San Francisco Art Institute.
Overseen by the John B. Hurford ’60 Humanities Center and located in Whitehead Campus Center, the Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery is open Monday-Friday 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays 12-5 p.m., and Wednesdays until 8 p.m. For more information, contact Matthew Seamus Callinan, Campus Exhibitions Coordinator, at (610) 896-1287 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Haverford College is located at 370 Lancaster Avenue, Haverford, PA, 19041.