Jessica Bronson’s video installations capture the ephemeral phenomena of the everyday and reorder it into extraordinary proportions. An extensive knowledge of film informs the artist’s work, as does an engagement with natural and mediated experience. Using original and stock film footage, Bronson’s manipulations of image, time and sound tend to mesmerize and sharpen the senses at the same time. Alluding to the conventional notions of the sublime and to several film genres westerns, documentaries, and science fiction films Panamint Tilt evokes the utopian ideal of the West and its unsettling yet persistent relationship to technology.
Panamint Tilt is comprised of several parts. The title piece is a wandering surveillance of the California desert near the Panamint Mountains magnified into two, large-scale projections. Distorted by the use of a wide-angle lens, the landscape is doubled, flipped and reversed into two mirror images that together form moving patterns of color and form. Another element, a monitor diptych entitled doubled sunset, includes alternate imagery from the same landscape, but fractures it into kaleidoscopic proportions. Each work has a distinct electronic soundtrack that creates a symphonic and random arrangement of abstract sounds. Each work may be somewhat disorienting in its complexity yet is simultaneously calming in movement, which is set to the pace of regular breathing. Finally, three light-jet prints (harmony, where about, and badwater) accompany the exhibition and act as doppelgangers of the strange desertscape in the video works.
Jessica Bronson: Panamint Tilt is organized by the Luckman Fine Arts Gallery, California State University, Los Angeles and is accompanied by an illustrated brochure with essays by Kemi Ilesanmi, Curatorial Assistant, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN; and Julie Joyce, Gallery Director, Luckman Fine Arts Complex, California State University, Los Angeles.