The Wanderer Above a Sea of Fog ,Oil on canvas, 1817-1894, 8 cm x 74, 8 cm, Kunsthalle, Hamburg
and "Survoyeur" Installation (Detail), Madison,Wisconsin,USA
The use of Caspar David Friedrich, Northern German Romantic painter, 19th century ( especially the central imagery of a figure atop a high overlook from his painting“Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog”) as the fulcrum around this body of work was an effort to investigate my interest in perception as a physical, psychological, and conceptual phenomena. The format for this piece entailed a site installation combining video recording, computer generated imagery and painting in the context of Minimalism andRomanticism stylistic and conceptual framework. The work was installed in the front gallery space window of the Madison Art Center in 1996. The title of the piece, “Survoyeur” was an invented word intended to incorporate the notion of perception as a manipulated point of view while trying simultaneously to present a surreptitious and unexpected experience that raised questions as to certainty and doubt. The piece was experienced by the viewer(s) from both inside the gallery space and/or from a position outside of the building in front of the gallery space window. From the outside vantage point the viewer, depending on whether or not they chose to face and look into a video camera placed atop a tripod, was recorded and juxtaposed (pasted) to a still image of the isolated figure in the Friedrich painting, the “Wanderer,” on a series of six monitors spread out horizontally in a landscape format. In some instances the viewer was aware of being “pasted” onto the horizontal monitors and in other instances they were not aware. Spontanaeity often dictated one’s perception of self and experience. The accompanying video is an example of the viewer and their actions as they were secretly being recorded onto tape. The site was in operation 24 hours a day for six weeks. The works that evolved from this approach eventually manifested itself in the form of paintings and prints. This section of the site includes a selection from that series. A review of this project is listed in the essay and reviews section of this web site.
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