May 8, 2004 - June 12, 2004
Jennifer and Kevin McCoy
Postmasters Gallery is pleased to announce the opening of “Soft Rains,” the second New York solo exhibition of Jennifer and Kevin McCoy:. The show will be on view from May 8 until June 12, 2004.
In this new series of works, the McCoys present electronic installations that examine narrative spaces. Extending from previous work of databased television and film material, the artists new work further explores the idea that thought, experience and memory are structured through genre and repetition.
Entering the gallery, the viewer sees seven platforms each containing a tiny fragmentary film set. The platforms each embody images and sounds from a particular cinematic genre (the eighties slasher, the fifties melodrama, the sixties art film, etc). The platform/genres can each stand autonomously or together they produce a cinema-hopping amalgamation of themes and eras. Over 50 miniature video cameras and lights are suspended over the sets, creating a new filmic entity generated live. By exposing the film sets together with their film, the McCoys expose and yet retain the magic of movie-making. We can see the working parts of the apparatus, but are still won over by the whole. The sets themselves are an exploded spatial view of what one experiences temporally in film.
The images are shot by several cameras simultaneously, each from its own angle, each focused on a different area of the set, and the multipart compound of images that these cameras together create is then sent to a computer running custom software that picks from the range of choices, “editing” it into the seven movies.The McCoys handle the passage of time by spreading “actors” and locations out in space to represent different moments, which are then intercut onscreen to suggest movement in time and place. Each story is told in six to ten shots.
“A magical shift occurs: the instantaneous translation of a physical
space distributed over a large horizontal field, in which everything exists simultaneously and
three-dimensionally but without movement, into a flat visual space on a vertical screen, in
which nothing has any physical depth and in which physical simultaneity is converted into
temporal sequence and action...The McCoys' new piece “Soft Rains”, intricate and entertaining,
is rooted in the history of film, which, however, with slice-and-dice aplomb, it chops into a
new form: its cinematic syntax is parsed not by any familiar story-telling ambition but by the
electronic synapses of the computer.”