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After her move to New Mexico in 1980, Steina began to draw on the landscape as a recurring theme in her work. It was not the romantic implication of this traditional artistic motif that interested her, but rather the potential for video to restructure its geography into hybrid environments. In her installation, 'Borealis', two video projectors through split beam mirrors project onto four translucent screens in a darkened room. The images are visible on both sides of the vertically positioned screens, which viewers are invited to walk in and around. Because the only light in the room comes from the images themselves, one can become totally immersed in the rhythm and spatiality of the images and accompanying sound. Steina uses stunning yet turbulent clips of nat…re, enlarges them, then turns them on end, literally and figuratively, so that they may be experienced as living abstractions on a scale equal to that of the human body. Water moves vertically and alternately forwards and backwards, resulting in a strangely familiar but disorienting view of this familiar natural movement. Although Steina produced many video waterscapes, 'Borealis', meaning northern, is regarded as one of the most spectacular.
[This installation was featured in the travelling exhibition "The Second, Time Based Arts from the Netherlands" (1996), and the DVD series "Installations 1975-2006" (2007).] Read more...