Is Amanda Hamilton Beautiful/Terrible?

March 14th, 2012  |  Published in Uncategorized

Beautiful!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   As you willl see in the following account, taken from her website, about her installation shown in Room 239 at Modern Art 2009!

One day, an enormous Russian lake with an already peculiar history disappeared.  Yes, disappeared.  In the morning, it was there-the same evening, it was gone.  When artist Amanda Hamilton read the story about White Lake, it haunted her.  The simplest explanation for the 612 mile wide, 48 foot deep lake glugging down into the earth in a matter of hours is that an underground cavern had collapsed.  But this, Hamilton explains, doesn’t help quell the effect such a disturbance has to the human psyches and imaginations that are connected to the lake.  It doesn’t draw out the meanings of the event-one of which, for Hamilton, is the distinct sense that human beings are clearly not ultimately in control of the universe in which we live.

So… Amanda built a miniature White Lake.  A complicated process of trial and error with new materials and technology yielded a final film of an eerie winter landscape-”Beautiful/Terrible”.  The piece’s power is as much linked to it’s soundscape as to it’s slow visual pain of foggy trees and snow…and the ice covered lake.  A soft white noise is punctuated by distant birdsong, which becomes increasingly frantic (birds and other animals have been shown to uncannily perceive a coming disaster) until a frightful crack booms convincingly.  In the aftermath of the crack, the camera pans to a starry sky-as if referencing a divine distance.  Is this a picture of indifference?  Or is there hope to be found in the immense and quiet steadfastness that the starts imply?  The film itself leaves this question unanswered…

 

room 239 in 2009 from Curators on Vimeo.

To view more of Amanda’s amazing work please visit her website:

http://amandahamiltonart.com/home.html

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