Ann Lislegaard

The three computer-animation installations and accompanying three sound rooms by Danish artist Ann Lislegaard are presented as 2062, the year in which they might’ve been created. That future date reflects her inspiration from sci-fi writers Samuel R. Delany, Ursula K. Le Guin, and the just-deceased J.G. Ballard. Each of the looped videos is based on one of their stories; but it would be a mistake to think of them as direct adaptations. Instead, as in the case of the black-and-white triptych Left Hand of Darkness (from Le Guin’s 1969 novel), swirling iconography orbits the source text. Medical illustrations of our sex organs, snowshoes, sleds, and skis spin in a flurry. A dancer practices in another panel. Paragraphs from Le Guin appear in blurry overlay, unreadable. Do you need to know that in the novel an emissary visits a cold, wintry planet whose inhabitants change sex? Not really. Lislegaard only obliquely references these underlying stories. (“I’m not so interested in fantasy,” she curtly noted during a walk-through.) Her literary sources are excerpted in a few words or phrases that you hear or read while pacing between the three stations in the big, dark gallery. Pessimism rules the room. Over at Crystal World (based on Ballard), we read, “Memories have faded…progress becomes pointless…more and more, time leaks away.” There’s something Tron-ish about these forbidding animations; they’re cool, empty, sad—future worlds we wouldn’t want to inhabit, but may inherit. BRIAN MILLER

Saturdays, Sundays, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.; Thursdays, Fridays, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Starts: April 18. Continues through Aug. 23, 2009

 
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