Catherine Forster: They Call Me Theirs
Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago
August 3 - October 5, 2008
They Call Me Theirs is a multi-media installation composed of video, prints, sculpture and sound, creating an encounter intended to question the distinctions we make between the natural and digital world. They Call Me Theirs reverses the experience of the outdoors by neatly packaging the four seasons in a “Box Set” inside the cabin, suggesting that our efforts to purify our experience with nature have actually taken us farther away from it.
The title of the work is taken from a line in the poem “Hamatreya” by Ralph Waldo Emerson, which questions man’s desire to claim ownership of the land that is inherently owned by nature. In the poem, the Earth responds, “How am I theirs, / If they cannot hold me, / But I hold them?” Similarly, the exhibition holds a sound-insulated cabin/shrine for the viewer to enter. A hand-crafted hardwood box containing a small personal monitor playing video images of the four seasons sits inside. Two different cacophonous soundtracks play from both the interior and exterior, highlighting the tension between the realities of the two environments. Adjacent to the gallery housing the cabin, is a “hanging garden” composed of large scale inkjet prints on aluminum sign panels. The prints were sourced from video stills, then painted, and digitized, creating a luscious though synthetic environment.
Hyde Park Art Center, 5020 South Cornell Avenue, Chicago, IL, 60615; 773.324.5520, www.hydeparkart.org. Opening reception August 3rd, 3-5 PM.