New York

Mary Lucier

Greenberg Wilson Gallery

Perhaps the most intriguing thing about Mary Lucier’s three-channel video installation Wilderness, 1986, is that it implies beauty and cliché through the same set of images. Lucier demonstrates how the popular assumption that the two are intrinsically antithetical is not necessarily true. Wilderness consists of a row of seven monitors mounted variously on faux classical pedestals, tree trunks, and a fluted urn. Lucier has arranged these in descending order, from the highest on the ends to the lowest in the middle; she has also mounted all but the urn, the center element, on low risers as well. The monitors play back three 21-minute, synchronized videotapes in an A/B/A/B/C/B/C pattern. The tapes feature a succession of forests, streams, seascapes, early American interiors, and a fox hunt, and are punctuated with glimpses of trains, bulldozers, and factories. Each scene features only minimal

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