Slideshow Biography

Matthew Buckingham at the Henry.

Matthew Buckingham’s three installations each provide a video take on a historical narrative. One is about 18th-century feminist Mary Wollstonecraft, another about Louis Le Prince, the 19th-century French inventor of the earliest motion picture projector. A third, and the one I found most compelling, is a dual slideshow illustrating the life of early 20th-century lesbian author and psychologist Charlotte Wolff titled Everything I Need. A screen on the left spills images of an airplane that may resemble the one Wolff took from London in 1978 on her first trip back to Berlin after being exiled from Nazi Germany. It’s a snapshot of ’70s interior design, with orange upholstery, metal ashtrays in pea-soup-green armrests, and a squat, egg-shaped portal looking out. The plane looks both futuristic and retro—a fact that pairs quite nicely with the text from Wolff’s autobiography, Hindsight, which appears on the right-hand screen, one or two sentences at a time. Wolff’s clear language reflects her strong political views as well as her place in history, and you have to be careful to navigate your attention between the two screens to keep up.

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