Project Year: 2008
Location: de Young Museum/Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco
For Sightings, I created a 3 channel high-definition video installation exploring the heightened moment of mutual encounter between art viewer and art object, between works of art and museum visitors and employees. I selected 40 objects from the collection of San Francisco’s de Young Museum, and asked pre-selected visitors to the museum, as well as some museum employees, to participate in a “dialogue” with a work of art, each taking an expressive gesture and gaze that embodied their emotional response to the art object. The tableaux were filmed with production values that are reminiscent of old-master paintings. Slow-motion photography, frozen gestures, and an unseen moving stage comment on the active/passive quality of the interactions. The video also reveals the relationship between the diverse inhabitants of San Francisco, who have come to the city from all over the world, and the “world collection” of art objects in the museum’s collection. Sightings was commissioned, exhibited and acquired by the de Young Museum.