Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Art is Cool: Julie Becker's Installations

A new feature on Fluffy Dollars! In these posts, we'll reflect on the coolest art we've seen, both where we've lived and where we've traveled.

For this edition, we recall installations by artist Julie Becker. These pieces appeared in "Sitings: Installation Art 1969-2002"/MOCA-GC/October 12, 2003 - June 7, 2004.

Researchers, Residents, A Place to Rest, 1993

Big rooms and tiny rooms that seem to lead in and out and around again to each other. Furniture from your grandparents' basement scattered throughout, mixed with furniture from the dollhouse. Tiny diaries inscribed with the musings of two psychic twins -- Eloise and Danny.

Fictional children. Children who lived in hotels. Children whose inner lives are mapped onto the intertwining rooms, whose memories and wishes and dreams are juxtaposed, blended, confused. Whose breathing can almost be discerned in the tiny peeling wallpaper, the scattered toys, the musty smell of loneliness and freedom, fantasy and fear. Hallways upon hallways. Labyrinthine. Contained and covert. Cavernous with corners. Thoughts of Audrey from Twin Peaks, another child of hotels.

What I didn't know, or think to imagine about them. A feeling as though I'd walked in on something. The lights and the radio on as though someone had just left the room. I don't belong here, and yet ...

There are clues to be gathered. Are the tiny rooms miniatures of the room in which I stand? Is that tiny chair a miniature of the arm chair of tattered green upholstery? And where are the children? In the walls?

The rooms are humming with them.

When you leave, they come with you.


Read a less impressionist description of the installation here.

Read more about Julie Becker here and here.

Read more about installation art here.


Crystal said...

This is just weird, they're calling it "art"? I guess I'm a traditionalist, I don't "get it".

femme feral said...

Hey Crystal,

I think my description probably didn't do the installation justice. This woman basically created the rooms of Eloise (the children's book character) and Danny (the "redrum" kid from the shining). It was a huge and sprawling installation. And filled with details. There was so much to look at!

I love intsallation art -- I love feeling like I'm inside this whole other world. I'm amazed at how space is made into these places -- how these locales of the imagination are recreated in real space. Becker's intsallation was intriguing: spooky and confusing and thrilling. Like being inside a mystery.

And I felt particularly haunted by the installation. That night when I closed my eyes the rooms seems to keep flashing in my brain. And even though it's been over a year, I think about that piece prety regularly. Something about the way it depicted childhood really resonated with me.

But of course not everyone is going to be a fan. Esp. with more conceptual or experimental pieces...

Anonymous said...

Julie's studio in L.A. is like her installations, filled with lots of stuff and half-completed projects. Her mind is like that too. She has schizophrenia and the installation you saw reflects that compartmentalized world. It's somewhat miraculous that she pulled anything off.