Tara Merenda Nelson: FourMats

May 28–August 8, 2021

FourMats was conceived by the artist as a performance to be run for short periods of time.
The exhibition is activated during the following hours:

Thursdays: 4 pm-8 pm
Saturdays: 1 pm-4 pm

During the remainder of the time, a digital version of the projected installation is on display.

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

READ: ‘FourMats’ exhibit at the MAG tinkers with time ~ CITY Newspaper.

Meet the Artist


Meet The Artist: The Expanded Cinema Practice of Tara Merenda Nelson
Thursday, July 29 | 6 pm | VIRTUAL EVENT

The term ‘expanded cinema’ describes the integration of multiple forms of media to create a non-traditional cinema environment. Drawing from this rich legacy, Tara Merenda Nelson’s (b. 1975) practice as an artist incorporates analog and digital film projection, still and moving-image sculptures, live soundtracks, and interactive film performances on multiple projectors.

Poetry of the Everyday | Streamed July 19–July 31, 2021

Poetry of the Everyday is a selection of short films by Rose Lowder, Tara Merenda Nelson, Helga Fanderl, and Anne Charlotte Robertson. Featuring travelogues, portraits, and diary films, this virtual program highlights a personal practice of filmmaking rooted in intimacy and observation. All the titles are shot on Super 8, the smallest of film formats, which registers images that invite viewers to engage more deeply with the texture, grain, and density of each frame. These poetic films approach the world from a personal point of view, using the camera as a mechanism for self-discovery.

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