• Investigating Space

    Date posted: December 26, 2008 Author: jolanta
    There is a basic animal need to ascertain and define what is going on within a space. My work exploits this by setting up scenarios for experiences without trying to control the end experience. My work tests the limits of human perception and cognition, catalyzing curiosity for mixed feelings of doubt and unease. I am interested in the cool tension that results from the efforts of the mind to create connections between disparate elements before they are understood. Scientists refer to these cognitive phenomena as apophenia. Interspace (2008) is a fully immersive video installation shown at Quality Pictures Contemporary Art, Portland, Oregon, in spring 2008. Image

    Laura Fritz

    Image
    Laura Fritz, Caseworks 13 (interior view), 2007. Site specific installation in Reed College Library Case Works. Courtesy of the artist.

    There is a basic animal need to ascertain and define what is going on within a space. My work exploits this by setting up scenarios for experiences without trying to control the end experience. My work tests the limits of human perception and cognition, catalyzing curiosity for mixed feelings of doubt and unease. I am interested in the cool tension that results from the efforts of the mind to create connections between disparate elements before they are understood. Scientists refer to these cognitive phenomena as apophenia.

    Interspace (2008) is a fully immersive video installation shown at Quality Pictures Contemporary Art, Portland, Oregon, in spring 2008. The piece traffics in the ways mystery, space, expectations, and perception cause viewers to find their own narrative in the purposeful and provocative vacuum it creates. A video of a cat is projected from above onto a translucent white false ceiling built into a narrow corridor of the gallery. Viewers walk through the corridor and look up to see an ambiguous image of a cat walking over their heads.

    Caseworks 13
    (2007) took place at Reed College’s Hauser Library as an open-ended display. Students weren’t cued as to whether it was art or science. “Portland sculptor and installation artist Laura Fritz transforms the Case Works vitrines into mysterious parallel worlds that evoke futuristic science laboratories,” said Stephanie Snyder, John and Anne Hauberg curator and director of Reed College’s Cooley Gallery. “Fritz turns each vitrine inside out, blackening the exterior and mirroring the interior, creating a tangle of convoluted vanishing points. Nestled into each dazzling compartment, translucent organic forms appear to twist and grow as their reflections bend throughout the space, morphing and wiggling like nascent thoughts. It’s pure perception whether they are moving or not…the psychedelic distortion of the space heightens one’s kinetic awareness, giving the impression that everything is in an indeterminate but temporary stasis, and will shift at any moment. Within this dynamic potential, a strange silence permeates the piece…the muted energy of the imagination when contemplating the farthest reaches of space, or the curves and textures of the human brain.”

    Illuminant (2006) consists of a pair of silicone forms presented upon a minimally styled, reflective and lab-like table. The forms become more mysterious and attractive the more intensely the piece is lighted. Section 4 (2003) consists of a black box of sufficient size to contain a small animal. The elusive cat’s head (video) is displayed against a white translucent window in front.

     

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