Tracey Snelling's Woman on the Run will transform the Street Level Gallery at 21c Museum into another time and place intricately mixing architecture, scale modeling, video, photography and 3-D storytelling with a heady dose of Hollywood glamour and Hitchcock-like suspense. A multimedia project, Woman on the Run explores a fragmented narrative about a fated woman. The main character, a combination of heroines and femme fatales from 1950s and 1960s film noir is trying to escape her fate. A crime has taken place, and she is wanted for questioning. Throughout the installation, different clues are given about the incident and the identity of the woman. Is she the victim, or the perpetrator? A study in feminism or an example of outdated ideas?
An alternate world of shrunken buildings, neon signs, and a life size motel offer a selection of clues that conspire to draw the viewer to the action and help them thread together the disconnected story. The viewer quickly becomes a witness and to some extent an actor within the story, often assuming the role of a detective. Video plays in windows and conversations can be overheard. Reality becomes based more in perception than in absolutes. The blacks and whites of life shift to grey, and the truth becomes shrouded in mystery.
The installation of Woman on the Run was organized by 21c Museum as part of an ongoing series of solo exhibitions that highlight individual artists represented in the 21c collection. Part of the exhibition will be traveling to the Frist Center for Visual Arts in 2011. Woman on the Run was originally commissioned by and shown at Selfridges in London during Frieze Art Fair in October 2008.
Snelling lives and works in Oakland, CA. She was recently one of 13 artists chosen by the Sundance Institute to be presented as part of the 2010 edition of New Frontier at Sundance Film Festival.