EMILY GREENBERG

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“Seeing, as opposed to a pattern of light and shade on one's retina, is always a mediation between this image and other knowledge: What shadows...do is make the mediation conscious.” --William Kentridge

Scenes from an Airport 2012 - 2013
Chapter 15: Concerning a Stranger from Spaceland 2013
single channel projection, chairs, sound, props, signs


Since Plato's Cave, Western thought has regarded the shadow as something that obscures or simplifies. However, as William Kentridge has argued, shadows can also help us avoid “the seduction of surface,” of texture and political ideology. Shadows, he said, merely show us the limits of our knowledge and, in doing so, subvert the world that claims full knowledge. Likewise, my immersive sound and video installations ask viewers to interact with something incomplete. The installations focus on non-spaces, those highly institutionalized and interchangeable places of transition: airports, hotels, waiting rooms, bus stops, the white cube gallery space. Such places claim a universality and internationalism, a “full knowledge.” In my work, I show such portrayals to be incomplete and contradictory by merging multiple experiential spheres that allow for a personal narrative to fill in the gaps. The shadow—what Kentridge called the “midpoint between a familiar self and the otherness of the rest of the world”--is that gap.

©Emily Greenberg. All rights reserved.