Paramnesia at the South Bend Regional Museum of Art
Video and Sculptural Installation
in collaboration with Jody Boyer
On exhibit during the exhibition Perform/Install July 15 – September 17, 2006
Perform/Install Catalog Essay by Curator Jason Lahr
Ideally, we can have the experience that we want with a work of art. We can enter that point where the world falls away and we find ourselves immersed in the world of a photograph, painting or sculpture. Or we have that moment where we’re transported to the potter’s wheel or easel and see the work through the eyes of the artist. Too often though, our ability to enter into an experience with a painting, photograph or sculpture is limited. We are distracted by the chaos of our lives or the unfamiliarity of an image or process. In that moment, the distance between our looking and what we’re looking at becomes palpable and the thread of dialogue is lost. The practices of performance and installation seek to reduce our disconnectness as viewers by situating us at the core of the work’s formation. Performance orients itself towards the implication and inclusion of the audience. Whether improvisational music, spoken word, or a one act play, performative works posit a temporal exchange between artist and audience. The unfolding of this exchange creates a dialogue that is great that the sum of its parts. Similiarly, installation works transform space and situate us not as viewers looking at a work from the outside, but rather as participants navigating through the work’s center. In both cases the piece is not complete without the inclusion and participation of the viewer.
Perform/Install embraces this active role of the viewer by fusing a series of performance based events with installations by Liz Miller and artist team Jody Boyer and Russ Nordman.
Liz Miller constructs grandiose installations of fused and exploded patterns crafted from felt, string, eggshell foam, and other everyday materials as a way to examine the complex systems of our everday. In their installation Paramnesia, Jody Boyer and Russ Nordman integrate sculptural objects alongside film and video footage in order to explore the synthesis of real and imagined memories. For both the performances and the installations, the viewer is the final key element, the bridge that closes the gap between looking and plunging in.