WESTWARD HO, 2001- 2002

 

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This page features an edited selection of images from this project. Additional images from each series available on request.

   

The following pages are images from an installation entitled, “Westward Ho.” The installation featured a variety of works which explored the various mediums through which the West has been imagined, and the means in which history has been displaced by mythology.

 
     
 

Cabin

The central part of the installation  featured a sculptural  a life-size cabin made entirely of  10,000 toy Lincoln Logs with a looped video projection of Monument Valley through the back windows. As the video plays, the landscape becomes crossed with station wagons and other tourist vehicles. Lincoln Logs were toys created during World War I to promote patriotism while referncing the pioneering spirit of the US, the mythologies of the West, the frontier and the log cabin of Abraham Lincoln.

 

   

10,000 Lincoln Logs, paper mache, wood, video projection, 2002

   
     
 

Shoot-Out


These images are from a video installation that repeated on a loop at the entrance to the gallery. The viewer is caught between the two monitors upon entering the gallery space. The monitor on the right showed clips from key Western films such as “The Man Who Shot Liberty Vallance” and “Johnny Guitar.” The opposite monitor displayed myself dressed up in costume, and interacting with the Hollywood imagery. Thus, the viewer is sandwiched between the two modifications of reality.




     
   

Shoot-Out, Video Installation, Wood Swinging Doors, 2002

   
     
 

Of the West

This series of photographs is based aesthetically and thematically on the Hollywood Western and draws on the various characters prevalent in the Western trope (ie: the singing cowboy, the damsel in distress, the outlaw). Often evidence of contemporary life- such as an airplane or tract housing- enter the image to suggest a myth dispelled.

"Untitled 2" from Of the West, 20x24 inches, C-Print, 2001

 

   

Self-Portrait, from Of The West, 20x24 inches, C Print, 2000

   
   

"Untitled 4" from Of the West, 22x24 inches, C-Print, 2001

   
   

"Untitled 1" from Of the West, 12x24 inches, C-Print, 2001

   
   

"Untitled 5" from Of the West, 16x20" C-Print, 2002

   
   

"Untitled 3" from Of the West, C-Print, 20x16 inches, 2002

   
   

"Untitled 6" from Of the West, 12x16 inches, C-Print, 2002

   
     
 

Two Painted Together

This piece is a  performative 16mm film piece entitled "Two Painted Together." This film was based on the actual 19th Century panorama painter John Banvard, who is noted for having painted a five-mile long panorama of the Mississippi River. Banvard's original panorama was screened to audiences in theater as a rolling scroll, and functioned as a pre-cinematic device. Two Painted Together focused on a fictitious rival who was painting a six-mile panorama on the other side of the river. The film was projected onto a moving, panoramic painted scroll such that the figures in the film interacted with a moving, painted panoramic backdrop. Viewers could wear the hat/costume of one of the key characters in the film.

     
   
 
   
 
     
 

Epic Landscape

Although guised as a scientific and objective representation, the epic landscape of the 19th century was highly embellished to create imagined, idealized landscapes that could serve as propaganda for Westward expansion and manifest destiny. This series extends and exaggerates this notion by using modified found thrift store landscape paintings as a background for drawings based in pop culture notions of the cowboy.

Cowboy Games, acrylic and collage on found painting, 18x38 inches, 2002

Cowboy Games, acrylic and collage on found painting, 18x38 inches, 2002 (DETAIL)

   
   

Campfire, 12x30 inches, graphite on found painting, 2002

   
   

Campfire, 12x30 inches, graphite on found painting, 2002 (DETAIL)

   
   

Big Dipper, bullet holes in thrift store painting, 16x20 inches, 2002

   
   

Yosemite, acrylic paint on found thrift store painting, 12x24 inches, 2002

   
 
 
 

This series of small black and white prints juxtaposes self-portraits, landscapes, and images from pop culture to explore the real and imagined west.

     
   
     
   
     
   
     
     
 

This piece consists of a grid of 21 images taken from Viewmaster reels, a contemporary version of the stereoview. Interestingly, the Viewmaster reels  make no distinction between fact and fiction in their presentation of the West, reinforcing stereotypes and myths.

     
   
     
   
     
     
 

Lone Pine

These images served as an epilogue to the project. It features a series of eight images taken in the Alabama Hills- a place where 70% of Westerns have been shot. Tourists travel out into the landscape to see where their favorite Hollywood and television westerns were filmed. Often, visitors dress up and reenact scenes from the films. The landscape becomes secondary to its significance as a stage set . In a strange circle, the Western was originally inspired by the landscape, and now the landscape is inspired by the Western.

"Under Western Skies," C-Print, 20x24 inches, 2001

   
   

The Tall T, 16x16 inches, C-Print, 2001

   
   

Boots and Saddles, 16x20 inches, C-Print, 2001

   
   

How the West Was Won, 16x16 inches, C-Print, 2001

   
   

Zorro Rides Again, C-Print, 20x24 inches, 2001

   
     
   

Rawhide, C-Print, 16x20 inches, 2001