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Melissa Starker, Creative Content & PR Manager
May 11, 2020
In the fall and winter of 2019, as part of the exhibition HERE: Ann Hamilton, Jenny Holzer, Maya Lin, artist Ann Hamilton held a series of public photo shoots at the Wex and Ohio State's Thompson Library. The images were created as part of a project Hamilton has been working on since 2012, ONEEVERYONE. In it, she photographs subjects through a flexible wall of thermoplastic polyurethane membrane that obscures almost everything about the subject—except for what is in direct contact with the wall. Select portraits would later be printed in a thick, phone book-style tome. We were thrilled to be part of this project, as were the many people who signed up for a short portrait session.
Now, the book has been printed, and Hamilton has partnered with another familiar face at the Wex, jazz composer and musician Bill Frisell, to create a video to experience it at home.
"The images, a consequence of the condition: hidden behind the membrane but revealed by touch, contain for me a sense of privacy but also an intimacy not possible in a time so aware of every point of contact, of every surface we touch, or are in exchange touched by," Hamilton explains. "The figure suspended, ethereal, is perhaps the alone together we are now living. I asked Bill Frisell if he would make a house recording for the book. Bill has performed many times at the Wexner Center, and his music always stirs a place in me, deeply felt, a place I might now call HOPE. It was April; I was in Ohio, and Bill was in New York. The video is, like sound, a form of touch across a distance, our collaboration."
The video mixes the slightly jerky movement of stop-motion animation with a score by Frisell formed of soothing, sustained notes and looping sounds that suggest the feeling of being caught in a moment. Altogether, it's a quirky and wholly endearing combination of reading, watching, and and listening, well worth about 45 minutes of your time. (And if you know any of the subjects photographed last year, you may see a familiar face pop up.)
Video image featuring dancer Bebe Miller on the book cover, courtesy of the artist
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