REDUNDANT GOTHIC CORRIDORS

REDUNDANT GOTHIC CORRIDORS – DOUG HENRY 2000

“Four centuries after the ‘solutions’ of the Renaissance and three centuries after Descartes, depth is still new, 

and it insists on being sought, not ‘once in a lifetime’ but all through life.”

    -Maurice Merleau-Ponty

A set constructed in the gallery at Harbor College.

2-D representations of 3-D space, from renaissance paintings to contemporary news and advertising photos, are based on a fixed point of view.  This set piece uses the device of forced perspective (familiar to many from first year psychology texts or Fun Houses) to externalize the point of view.  Once the point of view is out in the room, it can be taken or assumed by a viewer who will see the constructed illusion of 3 dimensions just as it would appear in 2 dimensions.  As the viewer moves away from the fixed pov however, their perception of the illusion begins to distort until, at some point, it completely breaks down giving way to a recognition of the materials from which the piece is made and its configuration within the actual 3-d space of the room.

 At the back of the set two small LCD video monitors play footage of people reading.  The monitors are positioned in such a way that in order for viewers to see the clearest brightest image (a limitation of the technology causes there to be a single, best viewing angle – point of view) viewers must assume contemplative poses much like those of the readers they watch and present a similar image through the set to anyone who chances into the gallery.

As each viewer moves to explore the set they add to their role of a spectator viewing it, the role of performer acting in it.  The movement of viewers in and around the set initiates an ongoing series of linear sequences, interactive narratives, a new one commencing each time someone enters the space.