For the second time, New York artist Leslie Thornton returns to the Winkleman Gallery, New York, to exhibit an inspiring new work. Luna is a detailed examination of nature and technology, utilisng the interplay of place, memory, and abstraction to produce a piece glittering with colour and character. Running, 11 May to 22 June, Thornton’s practice crosses the borders of cinema, video, digital media and installation.
A triptych of three vertical flat-screen monitors comprises the centerpiece of Luna. Each individual screen carries the image of the parachute-jump tower at Coney Island. Each shot is captured and modified so that the reference to place and object is transformed, and subsumed, only to reappear as another form of spectacle. Occasional figures and seagulls punctuate the changing surfaces of the image too.
Thornton’s project deals with the links between chronology, technology and mediation. Luna is an invocation of loss, as well as a tacit critique of nostalgia, through asking how you address history with something as fragmentary and minute as cinema. The film also focuses on the presence of the technical image, and Luna addresses the trace: an impression, a trace of a voice, a trace of the disappearance of voices, an unflinching engagement with the passing away of place.
The artist is also interested in the relationship between media production and audience, stating she is interested in: “position(ing) the viewer as an active reader, not a consumer.” She is among the most influential of contemporary artists in opening up new spaces for media, re-exploring boundaries and questioning the possibilities within museum and gallery spaces, as well as the public spaces of cinema, TV and internet.
Leslie Thornton: Luna, 11 May – 22 June, Winkleman Gallery, 621 West 27th Street, New York, NY 10001.
1. Leslie Thornton, LUNA, 2012 (still). Courtesy the artist and Winkleman Gallery.