2 Video Installations: July 11 - August 16 Side Gallery
Richard Schellenberg is a video artist who interprets dreams and events from his life, creating videos in the process. Although they are very personal and revealing, they also are compelling as story-telling. Read what Richard says about his work.
The installation consists of a large wall mounted sculptural frame into which a looped video is projected. The large bas-relief frame is a proscenium arch reflecting specific elements that occur in the video. The video involves a recreation of a dream I had as a six year old boy. The reason I remember that particular dream after all these years is not because it was so powerful, I thought it was fun at the time, but my mothers response to it, which frightened and confused me.
I've come to believe that my art (and life) is about returning. Not in a nostalgic sense, but looking at the past with new eyes and making connections with the present that need to be made. An artist friend of mine said of my work that it often did not go far enough. That I should recognize that the image is significant, but I need to explore why it has meaning, the release. I of course knew that, but hearing it at that particular time said in that particular way of his, sent me into a fever of discovery that led me to Superman installation as it exists today. I started to see how the dream was connected to other things in my life and particularly with my reaction to the trapped birds in the abandoned store.
Many years ago I was walking through an abandoned strip mall. It had been closed down for only a few months, but already nature was taking the area back. Grass was growing through cracks in the parking lot, vines covered large sections of the chain-link fence and birds lived in the abandoned buildings. Looking through the window of an empty grocery store, I saw six birds lying dead, lined up four feet from the window. I responded viscerally to this heart-breaking event and all the complex themes involved, ideas of abandonment, unintended consequences, hopelessness and fear. After many years of trying to interpret that scene, I found video and audio was the best way to convey the strangeness, sadness, and wonder of that memory. While developing the project, I asked a mathematician friend to write a formula describing the arc of the bird as it flew towards the window. This formula was to be a minor element in the video presentation; however, her research, fact-finding, enthusiasm about bird flight and flight mathematics propelled this project into a much wider investigation. Her analytical response to an event that so deeply affected me emotionally was what started me into this extended inquiry about the myriad ways people organize everyday perceptions and experiences in an attempt to make them manageable.