1989 : From Red to Rainbow

 

Set against a score that includes 'ping' noise compositions and music from "Miss Saigon"*, features the humble potato in shape-shifting roles as a screen to the past, a food staple, and an object of exchange. The roles are playfully both literal and metaphoric.

 

1989 was a pivotal year that saw enormous shifts in global politics in addition to the deployment of critical technologies that have changed our lives: GPS and html (facilitating the internet)- both technologies enabling an idea of ourselves and each other through locative and associative information. Well historicized revolutions in China, Germany, throughout Eastern Europe, and in South Africa, where citizens pushed against repressive states, coalesced in a forceful world-wide argument for increased popular control. The defacto turn from communism towards the radiant western promise of capitalism signaled faith in the redemptive potential of the free market.

 

Of course, our reductive view of history- exacerbated by what we watch and do on a screen, overlooks the necessary messiness of human desire and action. The video inserts moments of virtual re-purposing amongst historical footage as it acknowledges red as the color of both communism and revolution, and the spectral rainbow as representing freedom, optimism, and a kind of dreaminess that defies containment.

 

1989: From Red to Rainbow was created for "100x100=900 (100 video artists to tell a century)", a unique touring exhibition/program organized by Magmart | video under volcano (Italy). Artists in the project were assigned one year in the 20th century to create a work around. "100x100=900…" screened in 29 countries around the world from 2013 to 2019.

 

*Premiering in 1989, and based in part on Puccini's opera Madame Butterfly, Miss Saigon is a musical by Claude-Michel Schönberg and Alain Boublil, music by Howard Shore, lyrics by Boublil and Richard Maltby, Jr.

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