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fleshlessness

2009
3 channel video projection, real-time text and audio

each screen 4 x 7 feet

Fleshlessness combines recurring encounters and projected landscapes with real-time, self-assembling texts. Inspired by Eliot’s The Dry Salvages, the environment alternates between darkness and light to weave a series of passages with emerging cycles of terror and beauty, concealment and revelation, despair and hope.

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…The more intimately, even insidiously, affecting work in the show is the three-channel video installation. Words taken from T. S. Eliot mix and remix on the three screens. The words appear with two sets of images: footage of a sleeping dog's fanged, pink-gummy mouth and of a body of water under a moonlit pier. The dog makes sudden, drawn-out, loud snoring noises - it is a sleeping monster - and the water laps. There is a pattern to these sounds, images, and words that becomes recognizable as a rhythm; you anticipate and long for it. The composition has crowd-shaping power: It seems addressed not to a single person but to a congregation of seekers. The sleeping dog is in control of the room, is a sleeping god. The words "But the faith, and the love, and the hope, are all in the waiting" appear repeatedly, in rhythm, and the dog exhales, the teeth slowly coming back together on the word "waiting." This chorus stays in your body after you leave; you can replay it. If Rice can't quite get the body to reproduce itself onscreen, he does know how to make the screen take up residence in the body.

Excerpt from “Touch Screen”, The Stranger, Jen Graves, February 26, 2009, Seattle, WA