Jennifer Reeder: Julia Friedman Gallery. (Chicago).
The installation A Double Image Both in Focus Simultaneously (II) includes a small monitor on which a looped video of a high-school hallway plays in slightly slow motion. Reeder's concealed camera, fixed but sometimes panning like a surveillance eye, records the occasional teenage boy or girl sauntering down the hail, pausing at a locker, drinking at a fountain, chatting momentarily with a schoolmate, walking away. Nothing happens here but the confrontation of the ennui of institutionalization and the irreverence of youth. The garb and body language of the students, who seem to hold their environment in thinly veiled contempt, somehow challenge the modern, homogenized veneer of the school corridors. In Reeder's installation, the video monitor sits like a drive-in movie screen in a little dioramic landscape including miniature conifers and cars, a parking lot, and tiny figures, in front of a wall painted sky blue. The setting lends the school in the video a suburban air eerily suggestive of a place like Columb ine. In fact, an intense undercurrent of potential violence is never far from the surface of Reeder's work--a sense that all bets are off in the teen years, when the chaos of becoming may have its rampant way.
Untitled, the third installation here and the only one not to include an element of video, was a wall of puffy fabric letters reading LAST NIGHT I WENT TO / FUCKED UP AGAIN / AND I REALIZED / THAT IT IS ALWAYS / THE SAME PLACE / JUST WITH / DIFFERENT DRIVERS. This pillow text has earnestness and impetuosity, the feel of song lyrics that could pass for Imagist poetry. It also has a teen beat, a self-centeredness that personalizes haiku rhythms into confession, with a low-tech handicraft that makes this me-missive more intimate, exposed, and vulnerable.
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|Article Type:||Brief Article|
|Date:||Dec 1, 2001|
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