"Is Anyone Home?," 1999, projection installation in modified greenhouse using live sea monkeys.
"Is Anyone Home"
By Ted Victoria
Individual and group dynamics play a role in Ted Victoria's sculpture. Created by the utilization of a low-tech system of focused light and lenses, Victoria creates poignant tableaus of loneliness within wall-mounted camera obscura projection boxes and live "performances" by a cast of hundreds of brine shrimp (sea monkeys) in installations in public spaces and freestanding structures.
"The Fire Wall Pieces," three projection boxes, are inspired by the fire burning in the artist's wood stove. As translated into a singular image in each box, the fire conveys endless comfort, a pleasing metaphor for home and hearth, until one considers that the box's interior construction--including focused light, lenses, and theatrical gels--is as illusory as the sentiment it purports to memorialize.
Victoria also references the concept of home in "Is Anyone Home?," a modified greenhouse filled with projections of cavorting, live brine shrimp, enlarged to gigantic size though his brilliant orchestration of lenses and light. The greenhouse is like a scaled-up Monopoly house, a schematic representation of HOME, an image of safety and comfort. Victoria's home, however, is filled with alien creatures, swimming and procreating with abandon. One gazes through its translucent screen walls and is either seduced or repelled, for in Victoria's realm there is "a lightness, a freedom, a feeling of possibility" that can bring joy as well as danger. Does one walk through the wall or stay outside? It is this ambiguity, this balancing on the razor blade of choice, that gives Victoria's art its power.
A special feature of Wake Forest Magazine.
Descriptions and critiques by Judith Page.
About the Artist
Victoria's "The Fire Wall Pieces" are on view along with "Is Anyone Home?" at the Hanes Gallery.
Sophomore Elliot Engstrom reviews the exhibition.
Hanes Art Gallery Hours
Saturday and Sunday
(Closed during University holidays.)
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