Images flash by in an instant, zooming in on the random minutiae of a life. A cat playing on a fence, the scenic backdrop of a mountain range, a happy couple in wedded matrimony. Laura Mackin’s video “Zoom (Dean 1962-2006)” from her solo exhibition, “120 Years,” splices, edits and reconfigures the personal home videos of a stranger named Dean. Mackin rearranges Dean’s films and edits in zoomed images, creating a disjunctive visual experience. However random or specific the scenes that Dean chooses to zoom in on, they are still oddly familiar. Moments from an anonymous life read like the images we keep in our own memory of blurred impressions, arbitrarily conjoined, resurfacing fleetingly.
In the video “Driving (Dean 1946-2006),” Mackin splices together scenes from Dean’s film taken from inside a car traveling down the highway. Again, the film creates sensations of nostalgia and déjà vu. Mackin alludes to the all-American experience of seeing the country from the back seat of a car.
Mrs. Ernest is Mackin’s second found object, her postcards from 1910-1968 recontextualized alongside a series of maps and grids. On a large roll of black paper laying flat on a table, the reproduced postcard images are arranged geographically according to where each was sent, creating a visual topography of a life overly simplified. Mrs. Ernest’s postcards are reconfigured as documentation of Americana.
“120 Years” launches private memories into the public sphere, as objects of speculation and scrutiny. Mackin’s work posits the experience of the individual as that of the greater whole, blurring the line between personal memories and public novelty. (Tara Quell)
Through February 25 at Three Walls, 119 North Peoria