LINCOLN, MA.- DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Park
announced the first major museum presentation of the collaborative work of choreographer and performer Ann Carlson and video installation artist Mary Ellen Strom. Through the lens of the historic record and art history, Carlson/Strom employ tactics of spectacle and humor to provide spaces of reflection about this contemporary moment. Carlson/Strom: New Performance Video will be on view at the DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Park from January 24 through May 17, 2009.
Ann Carlson and Mary Ellen Strom draw on the disciplines of dance and video art and public and conceptual art to create work that merges and expands the boundaries of each field. Both of these award-winning artists have been collaborating on multi-media projects since the early 1990s. Their work shares concerns for social engagement, historical criticality, and an exploration of the everyday that in turn defines their joint projects. For this exhibition Carlson/Strom will present four recent performance videos from 2007-2008 and debut a large-scale installation, Meadowlark, commissioned by DeCordova.
While elegant, sharply executed, and humorous, these performance videos are critical re-evaluations of cultural and historical narratives. Displayed as immersive projections or installations, Carlson/Stroms work simultaneously fuses video arts tendencies towards the visually spectacular and its legacy as a tool for social change. In that spirit, Carlson/Strom have turned and returned to the problematic nature and histories of the American landscape as an ongoing subject. Using the strategies of collaborative performance and time-based art work, they examine the moving body within a range of landscapes: the physical western vista, the economic terrain of late-capitalist America, and the artistic tradition of constructing these literal and ideological images.