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Directions: John Gerrard

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Animated Scene (Oil Field), 2007 Video Still © John Gerrard
Directions: John Gerrard

Independence Ave. @ Seventh St. SW
20013-7012 Washington
DC
US
November 5th, 2009 - May 31st, 2010

QUICK FACTS
WEBSITE:  
http://hirshhorn.si.edu
COUNTRY:  
United States
EMAIL:  
hmsginquiries@si.edu
PHONE:  
202-633-1000
OPEN HOURS:  
Daily 10-5:30 (except Dec 25); Plaza open 7:30-5:30
TAGS:  
photography, video-art

DESCRIPTION

John Gerrard’s (Irish, b. Dublin, 1973) works hover between fact and fiction. They present actual scenes from desolate corners of the American landscape and unfold in real time so that patient viewers can experience the progression of the day from morning to night in each setting; however, what looks like a live shot is, in fact, a manipulated, fabricated image. Gerrard photographed every site from 360 degrees and then animated the stills into seamless cinematic panning shots. Instead of the overt conflicts so prominent in video games that use this same technology, the artist relates realistic elements—a pumping oil derrick, a pig processing plant, and a vintage storm photo superimposed on a real farmscape—with elegant subtlety. Yet while these works recall the stark illumination and precision of twentieth-century realist paintings by Charles Sheeler, Charles Demuth, and Edward Hopper, their heightened effects also underscore the bleak ramifications of depleting natural resources. Gerrard’s mesmerizing replicas re-imagine landscape art and offer meditations on the impact of our habits of consumption.

 

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