In the darkly-lit room, there are arbitrary sounds bouncing off the walls. Other than those sounds, there is stillness. Quiet. It’s hard to recognize that this enchantingly peaceful space is the Mills College Art Museum. Yet its newly-arranged, gray walls and feel are vital components of the Museum’s current exhibition Floating Female, a collection of video installments by Danish artist Laerke Lauta.
For Dr. Stephanie Hanor, Director of the Mills Art Museum, showcasing Lauta’s pieces was in response to the strong student interest on campus in video, as exhibited by the Video I and II classes offered at the College.
“In terms of artistic practice, (Lauta’s installment) was a great opportunity to show a large-scale video installation in our space,” Hanor said.
Commissioned directly by the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, Floating Female broadcasts five channels of video, each of which is projected on its own wall with its own sound. Each video – which is accompanied by individual sounds like the flow of water in a lake and the beat of music in a nightclub, depending on which channel you are watching – portrays people and nature in a dreamlike fashion. In one video channel, a girl covered in white feathers reminiscent of wings hangs upside down from a tree. In another, a girl in a red dress dances in a nightclub as a man drinks beer in the background. Though the channels are separate videos on separate walls, Lauta’s collection feels like a continuing movie sequence that delves deeply into the internal and external.
Students who have seen Lauta’s video installation said they were impressed by her work.
“Never quite seen anything like it,” said Elena Silva, a freshmen who works at the installation.
To see more by Laerke Lauta please visit http://www.lauta.dk/video.html. Floating Female will be showing until March 13.