Remembering Cinema

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Taking its title from 18th and 19th century proto-cinema that used rear-projected images and magic lanterns to tell stories of otherworldly phenomena, the thematic group show Phantasmagoria: Specters of Absence includes a dozen variations on moving shadows temporarily manifesting unseen forces. Several of the works in the traveling exhibition literalize relationships between motion pictures and memory that crop up throughout the history of cinema. This happens most notably in Brazilian artist Rosangela Renno's Experiencing Cinema, a 2004 installation that projects family photographs onto a screen of fog. Others brings some of the shock of early moving images back to the form. Mexico-born, Montreal-based Rafael Lozano-Hemmer contributes Sustained Coincidence [Subsculpture 8]. One of his signature room-size environments, it uses a computerized surveillance system and a series of 36 incandescent bulbs to force viewers into jarring confrontations with their own shadows. The exhibition debuted at the Museo de Arte del Banco de la Republica in Bogota, Colombia--which co-organized the show with Independent Curators International--and it is currently on view at The Contemporary Museum, Honolulu, in Hawaii through November 25.