Tara Merenda Nelson: FourMats

April 17–August 9, 2020

Tara Merenda Nelson’s (b. 1975) handmade cinema is not about showing the world as it is but about offering a cinematic encounter with that world. Through her work, she emphasizes audience participation, the spaces where the films are projected, and the devices involved in the projection process:

I am interested in identifying how we perceive images and give them meaning, and how that perception is affected by the light that carries the information and the darkness between the frames, which I consider to be the space of imagination.

FourMats, Nelson’s exhibition in MAG’s Media Arts Watch gallery, includes two multimedia installations that combine four formats—16mm film, super 8 film, slide film and HD video—to construct a single image. End of Empire is a vertical puzzle-like image of the Kodak tower in downtown Rochester, and Moon projects a square composition of the celestial body. Both works are an inquiry into perception and projection, using iconic imagery to reveal the distinct visual qualities of each projected format. To this end, the projection devices are a crucial part of the display.

shown: Tara Merenda Nelson, Installation view from Moon, 2015. Looping 16mm, Super 8, Slide film and HD video, silent. © Tara Merenda Nelson