Ellen Gallagher: Projections



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Art21 first featured artist Ellen Gallagher in 2005
Watch the original & uncut 13 minute film online! (via Hulu)

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Own Season 3 Today: DVD or iTunes
Ellen Gallagher is featured in the Art21 episode "Play" along with fellow artists Arturo Herrera, Oliver Herring, and Jessica Stockholder. The Season 3 DVD features 4 episodes, 18 artists, and is available from PBS and Amazon.

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A device for simulating 3-D images, view-masters were developed in the 1930s and evolved from earlier stereoscopic devices as means for virtual sight-seeing.

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The Red Baron
Manfred Albrecht Freiherr von Richthofen was a German fighter pilot known as the "Red Baron". He was the most successful flying ace of World War I, being officially credited with 80 confirmed air combat victories Watch a video of the Red Baron (Google Video).

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Bessie Smith
Bessie Smith was a blues singer in the 1920s. Learn more about her life and music, her tragic death, and the urban legends that sprung from it.

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"Murmur" (2003-04)
Ellen Gallagher's suite of "Murmur" films was made in collaboration with Edgar Cleijne. The five 16mm films titled "Watery Ecstatic," "Kabuki Death Dance," "Blizzard of White," "Super Boo," and "Monster" are a combination of found footage, stop-motion animation, and painterly touches to the film surface itself.

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Artist Ellen Gallagher recounts her childhood obsession with projecting films, paired with documentation of her work "Murmur" (2003-04) installed at Gagosian Gallery in New York.

Repetition and revision are central to Ellen Gallagher’s treatment of advertisements appropriated from popular magazines. Initially, Gallagher was drawn to the wig advertisements because of their grid-like structure. Later she realized that it was the accompanying language that attracted her, and she began to bring these ‘narratives’ into her paintings—making them function through the characters of the advertisements as a kind of chart of lost worlds. Upon closer inspection, googly eyes, reconfigured wigs, tongues, and lips of minstrel caricatures multiply in detail. Although her work has often been interpreted as an examination of race, Gallagher also suggests a more formal reading- from afar the work appears abstract and minimal, and employs grids as both structure and metaphors for experience.

VIDEO | Producer: Wesley Miller & Nick Ravich. Interview: Susan Sollins. Camera & Sound: Tom Hurwitz, Eddie Marritz, Mark Mandler, and Roger Phenix. Editor: Jenny Chiurco and Mary Ann Toman. Artwork Courtesy: Ellen Gallagher & Edgar Cleijne. Special Thanks: Gagosian Gallery, New York and Two Palms Press, New York.

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00:00:10 You know, do you remember those viewfinders from the 70s? I was really into that and I had viewfinders and I had a projector.

00:00:23 I was allowed to bring boys up to my room if I was going to show them these projections I had and so that was really exciting.

00:00:33 I did really like showing these projections in the dark and telling stories. There was a sort of stories that were supposed to go with them, but I would change the order and make up other stories.

00:00:45 That was a very sort of calm moment for me, the stories I would make up.

00:00:51 The red barren was a favorite one. And then mixed with you know if you can imagine this story about Bessie Smith

00:01:02 and her car accident and that she wasn't able to get to the hospital or she was able to get to the hospital and they wouldn’t take care of her.

00:01:11 So, these slides would all get jumbled together and would end up being part of my slide show in my narration.

00:01:21 And, you know, it kept people really quiet I mean usually I was really territorial and really fighting with the boys in my neighborhood a lot and and they were very,

00:01:30 at least momentarily, obedient and quiet in listening.