EUGENE, ORE.- The Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art
, in conjunction with Cinema Pacific, presents Hunting Requires Optimism and Medusa Smack, two video installations by Portland-based artist Vanessa Renwick. On view from April 25 to June 29, 2014, and made possible by a JSMA Academic Support Grant, Renwicks installations address serious issues related to our environment in often humorous ways.
Vanessa Renwicks films and media installations, which physically engage us with wild humans and animals, says Cinema Pacific director and curator Richard Herskowitz, have earned her growing recognition by many, including me, as the most important experimental media artist in the Pacific Northwest.
Hunting Requires Optimism, on view in the Artist Project Space, contrasts the challenges wolves face in finding food with those of humans seeking sustenance. Comprised of refrigerators and videos, the installation focusses on hunts experienced by the North American Gray Wolf, which has a 90% failure rate.
Medusa Smack, an immersive video installation in 240A (off the Barker Gallery), has a score composed and performed by Tara Jane ONeil that includes sounds recorded by the artist Harry Bertoia on his Sonambient sound sculptures. In this work, visitors lie on soft pillows beneath a large, jellyfish-shaped screen with projections of Pacific sea nettles and moon jellyfish photographed at the Oregon Coast Aquarium.
Renwick, founder and janitor of the Oregon Department of Kick Ass, lives in Portland, Oregon. Renwicks installations have been displayed at the Centre Pompidou, the Tacoma Art Museum, PDX Contemporary Art, and the Elizabeth Leach Gallery, and her films have screened internationally. Renwicks work can also be seen in layover: new work by Vanessa Renwick, on view through May 17, 2014, at The Art Gym, Marylhurst University.