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1000 WORDS: JENNIFER WEST

Detail of Jennifer West’s Flashlight Filmstrip Projections, 2014, Plexiglas, 35-mm and 70-mm film strips, flashlights. Installation view, Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, OR. From the 2014 Time-Based Art Festival (TBA:14).

IN RECENT DECADES, a handful of artists have displayed a special kink for the place and time of California in the 1970s. Carol Bove, Liz Craft, Doug Aitken, Justin Lowe, Jonah Freeman, and Jeremy Blake, to name but a few, have all reached into the golden nimbus surrounding the years roughly spanning 1967 to 1974 and come back with distilled essences of the forms and thoughts of the American West. Leftist books on wooden shelves, high-flying kites, and psychedelic cowboys have, in their hands, become rich fetish objects implying variously nostalgic, ecstatic, and gothic meanings, if not full-blown epistemologies of lifestyle.

The aptly surnamed Jennifer West is another magus of the California aura. In her sensual, partly abstract, partly imagistic art films, the Topanga-born native has embraced both the process and the product of the ongoing California experiment, taking a distinctly

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