As part of 'VIDEO REWIND: A look back from early video works from the 1970s and 1980s', 'Ohio to Giverny: Memory of Light' by Mary Lucier ponders on the icons of modern society and the spectacle of a future of intense consumerism.
This single-channel video work is a condensed version of the 2-channel installation, Ohio At Giverny, both dated 1983. It is an investigation of light in landscape and its function as an agent of memory, both personal and mythic. The work deals with convergence of disparate entities—geographies, epochs, sensibilities; with transitions from one state of being to another; and how, within the frame of imagination and collective memory, these “dissolves” take place. It is structured as a journey of the camera from the relative simplicity of a bucolic Ohio heritage, through an evocation of medieval France, to the impressionist landscapes of Monet’s Giverny, ending finally in the avenues of Pere Lachaise cemetery. In this adventure, landscape is the chief protagonist—articulated by changing light and by camera movement, animated by highly pictorial sound, and made poignant by the virtual absence of inhabitants. References to the motifs of Monet function throughout as the art historical memory, underlying the more personal evocation of French and American personae. It is dedicated to the memory of my uncle and aunt, William C. Beer, Jr. and Jacqueline Sommeyevre.
Special thanks to Margaret Glosser.
©1983, Mary Lucier