Los Angeles

Jennifer Steinkamp


Jennifer Steinkamp’s installations frequently induce a level of immersion that is unusual, the familiar act of looking shading quickly into something more like swimming. The four works in her series “Orbit,” 2008–, for instance, are each like a fall in zero gravity. The matrices of branchlike tendrils and fluorescent leaves that make up the video projections blow, swirl, and rotate across two expansive perpendicular walls. But also, and very deliberately, the projections wash legibly across the body of the viewer, physically absorbing him or her into the installations. The spectator, then, occupies both positive and negative space: a black specter interrupting the projection, and a tableau onto which that image is projected. This thorough subsumption into the virtual space of these works effectively forecloses the possibility of distance— critical or otherwise—and instead holds out the

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