The Constant World (US)

 

2007

Sculptural video installation, models with electronics

Jennifer and Kevin McCoy (US)

 

The Constant World, with its incorporation of live video cameras, presents a utopian world in which architecture and objects create and project their own advertisement. This installation is an interconnected series of ceiling mounted metal spheres, models, cameras, and lights. It portrays a film noir melodrama set in an urban environment of reflective surfaces that is intercut with text elements and miniature screens. The result, seen on a flat screen display, beckons the viewer to inhabit the place seen on screen. Drawing from influences as varied as the Situationist Constant Nieuwenhuis’s models for the utopian New Babylon and the dystopian technological noir of Jean-Luc Godard’s Alphaville, the project forms a critique of labels. Specifically, it questions the ways in which our culture uses language to falsely assign value. In an essay written by curator Michael Connor on the occasion of the work’s premiere, he states, “In creating this sense of an urban space, The Constant World draws on several systems of centralized control: marketing, architecture, live cameras, computer controllers. The viewer is asked to stand outside of the system, viewing it freely from without. The mobility of the viewer and allows a kind of latent Surrealist potential within this system of control, rich with allusion and accidental meaning. This is the space that allows the development of subjectivity; this in itself is a kind of play.”

 

Artist Bio:

The work of the American artists team Jennifer and Kevin McCoy has been exhibited at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, P.S.1, The Museum of Modern Art, The New Museum, and the Brooklyn Museum. International exhibitions include projects at the Pompidou Center, the British Film Institute, ZKM, the Hanover Kunstverien, the Bonn Kunstverein, and F.A.C.T. (Liverpool, UK). Grants include a 2002 Creative Capital Grant for Emerging Fields, a 2005 Wired Rave Award, and a 2011 Guggenheim Fellowship. Articles about their work have appeared in Art in America, Artforum, Flash Art, Art News, The New York Times, and Newsweek. Residencies include work at the Headlands Center for the Arts and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. Their work is represented in New York by Postmasters Gallery and can be seen in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Milwaukee Art Museum, and MUDAM in Luxembourg.