Buffalo

Heidi Kumao

Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center

The subtly confessional spaces between the flickering images that are produced by Heidi Kumao’s zoetropes and the homely objects that surround them held out the promise of catharsis. In the darkened gallery, small islands of moving light guided the viewer to each animated tableau. Rings of projected transparencies were set up on cheap record players with a vintage platter silently spinning. These pieces evoked the late 19th-century practice of using the zoetrope to create precinematic animation within a circular space. In Kumao’s installation, Feed, 1994, images were projected onto various surfaces: a player-piano scroll, a paper screen, blank photograph frames, and the interior of a cardboard box. The zoetropes themselves rested on equally idiosyncratic objects: a child’s chair, a small ironing board, and other domestic items.

Kumao does not merely expose the mechanisms of her art; she

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