Ruth Eckland 的影像作品并非线性的故事叙述。它们用的是诗
意向。弥漫整个空间的音乐是由Matt DiFonzo 创作的，与视
念来源于影像艺术家Stan Brakhage 和画家Gerhard Richter
接。“蜂窝” 就这样－ 为观众提供一个独自深思的空间和媒介，
“Eckland makes art of the tension between our hunger for narrative and
the discomfort of insufficient information, plus aesthetic offerings to the
eye that strike it as ample and rewarding…”
Kenneth Baker, art critic, The San Francisco Chronicle
Ruth Eckland’s videos are non-narrative pieces in the sense of any linear form of storytelling. Rather, they have the form and structure of poetry or a music composition. They are metaphoric, almost like dreams, with the device of repetition used like a refrain or a chorus for both thematic emphasis and internal rhythm. Interpretation, including associative narrative, becomes a collaboration with the viewer.
Much of Eckland’s work puts a single subject under the microscope of the
lens to capture and honor the ebb and flow of movement and subtle changes inherent in those actions. She often examines fragments of popular culture in new contexts and forms to expose and explicate our subconscious responses. Since we are so visually stimulated and inured at the same time by all forms of moving media, she defuses preconceptions by bringing the sensibility of painting, etching or altered photography to her videos. Ironically, though they often have the look of more traditional media, they are highly processed digitally to achieve this effect.
Because of the allusive nature of these pieces that require the attention, experience and creative imagining of the viewer to make their own connections and devise their own stories, sound is utilized in a variety of ways as one more carrier of information to the senses, as a way of adding layers of meaning to the visual images, and creating a more evocative, immersive experience. Eckland collaborates with several composers who create original music for the works.
A buzzing hive is a dynamic construct representing both connection with others and retreat into private worlds. Urban life, in particular, can feel chaotic, with the excitement of traffic, commerce and people, the bombardment of light and movement, the medley of noise 24/7. We thrive on the stimulation, and the constant incidental and intentional social contact with others. But we also need relief from this onslaught, a protected space where we can relax, contemplate, regenerate, by ourselves or with a chosen few.
Welcome to Hive, a metaphorical representation of some of the dichotomies
and fragmentation that characterize the realities of modern existence. In an ebb and flow of activities, we connect with and expand into the world around us, and retreat into inner worlds to relax and recharge. But whether we are alone or with others, in public or in private, we are connected through our technology, our possessions, and our thoughts and memories to a wider social fabric. In form and content, this installation attempts to provide a visceral experience of the excitement and interconnectivity of contemporary life, and the attempt to find some sort of portal to tranquility within the context of constant stimulation and information overload.
Walking into a darkened room, the viewer encounters a three dimensional
installation of staggered scrims hanging from ceiling to floor, alive with projected, frenetic tracings of abstract geometric drawings that form, dissolve and morph organically into palimpsests of hive-like cells and patterns. Emerging from this maze of activity are more subtle, figurative images that form a counterpoint of slow, deliberate motion and intent. Music fills the space, an original score by Matt DiFonzo, echoing, informing, guiding the visuals and contributing to the immersive experience. Viewers can wander among the scrims, piecing together different imagery from different angles. Jianwei Fong’s wall paintings further transform and are transformed by the various lines of sight.
If the buzz of today’s techno-hive is 3D and collaboration, then Eckland and Fong are on the cutting edge, though the experience is anything but trendy. Eckland’s aesthetic owes as much to such originals of art video as Stan Brakhage, and painters such as Gerhard Richter, as it does to today’s Web and television. And Fong’s splashy strokes are a strong mix of California movements (where he completed his artistic education,) traditional landscape painting and the everyday commercial art of the China where he was born and currently lives.
Both artists, though coming from opposite sides of the globe, understand the need to go within themselves to connect with new ways of defining their current experience with the life around them. Hive reflects this, offering viewers a space and a vehicle for their own contemplation, an opportunity to find their own rest notes in this cacophonous world.