columbus-ohio

Laura Larson

Wexner Center for the Arts

Laura Larson’s video Electric Girls and the Invisible World, 2008, skims the edge of the impossible. Its deadpan tone exaggerates that of neo-avant-garde documentary, from Martha Rosler’s Semiotics of the Kitchen, 1975, to Allan Sekula’s Fish Story, 1999. But what Larson’s film documents cannot be represented: “the Invisible World,” or the paranormal; and that ineffable species, adolescent girls. The latter have been understood as perceptually unknowable since Proust’s In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower, and Larson does not pretend otherwise. The half-hour video, which ran this past spring in the Wexner’s screening room, professes to track five teen girls as they explore their own mystical powers, which were inspired in part by studying and channeling the nineteenth-century clairvoyant Eusapia Palladino.

The piece opens with a shot of one of the girls lying asleep on her bed before an

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