August 26 – October 12, 2003
The University Art Museum is pleased to present new work by Los Angeles-based artist Euan Macdonald in his first museum show in the United States. On view will be three DVD projections accompanied by related works on paper including several drawings and one print. A talented artist with a growing international profile, Macdonald uses the medium of video in combination with drawings, paintings, and sometimes sculptures to address a variety of themes. Among them are simultaneity, entropy, mysticism, memory, and boredom. Often depicting real time and mundane found images from a fixed camera angle, Macdonald's videos become hypnotic and leave the viewer with a profound sense of life's mysteries and paradoxes.
The three projections, including House (everythinghappensatonce), 1999; Healer, 2002; and Snail, 2003, are all shot with a stationary camera and no special effects. Like much of Macdonald's work, these short sequences are evidence of his ability to poetically articulate the depth of meaning contained within the modest moments depicted. Very little action takes place in the videos and as a result of this minimalist formula, the emotional and psychological content is heightened and the passage of time becomes a significant subject. A group of drawings from the World Series, 2003, has a similar effect on our understanding of time. Beginning with a luxurious cruise ship (named the world) floating majestically in a large body of water and ending with the remnants of the deteriorated ship abandoned on dry, cracked earth, the work takes the viewer on a voyage far into the future in which even the most elaborate advances of man eventually succumb to inevitable disintegration. As a counterpart to the long-range picture portrayed in the drawings, the optimistic lyrics to the up-beat John Lennon song Instant Karma are featured in a limited edition print in which Macdonald repeats the chorus, "we all shine like the moon, the sun, and the stars” over and over until it runs off the page. Collectively, the work on display captures illusive, big-picture ideas by focusing on simple, everyday occurrences in life, like a snail moving across the sand on a summer day.