Interview with Michael Bell-Smith
Michael Bell-Smith, Bouncing Lights Forever (Installation Shot), 2008
Interview conducted by Ceci Moss
The title of the show is "Bouncing Lights Forever". In your work, the viewer feels suspended in infinite motion, a quality aptly captured by the title for your exhibition. I think your work proposes a meditative loop in relationship to historiographer Hayden White's idea of a "modernist event", a term which refers to the contemporary convergence of the event, its representation, and the dissemination of that representation into one moment. I would like to know what your thoughts are on the acceleration of these kind of events in time, and if you feel this is represented in your aesthetic.
Is there a larger narrative or system at play in the work? You describe displacement, and I wonder if this is a result of an overflow of multiple representations, rather than the dismantling of one larger narrative. That's what I was getting at when I asked about the "modernist event". Why do you think your work is removed from a real-world referent? How do you make that distinction?
Michael Bell-Smith, Self Portrait NYC, 2006