It is my hope one day to see an Ann Hamilton installation in person. She has a way of turning the world around us into an ethereal experience by utilizing one of the strongest devices that we, as humans, have: our senses. You watch one of her videos and you hear her whisper words (a poem or is it your own thoughts?) and with the use of her single-chip surveillance camera, she skims the surface of her subject so closely you feel you’re touching it too. She transposes these senses as well and in 2001 she turned her mouth into a camera by placing a pinhole camera inside of it and exposed 67 images. She stated that this “organ of speech, the mouth, became an ‘eye’” for the series.
Linn Underhill, associate professor of art and curator for Hamilton’s current exhibit Recto/Verso at Colgate University, writes that Hamilton’s “installations combine materials from the natural world with found and fabricated objects, human figures, sound, written and spoken words, and images, both still and moving, in a poetry of bodies, language and experience."
The University of Louisville presents Ann Hamilton today, April 5th, as part of the Nora Iasigi Bullitt Memorial Lecture series at the Speed Museum from 6 -7:30 p.m. Admission is free. Unfortunately, an installation is not planned.
21c Museum is currently exhibiting Hamilton’s photograph’s book weights (human carriage) that were taken from her large-scale installation that was commissioned by the Guggenheim Museum in New York, in 2009. The installation was part of the The Third Mind: American Artists Contemplate Asia 1860-1969 exhibition.
If you can’t make Hamilton’s lecture, watch her segment that was featured on PBS’ Art 21 series here: pbs.org/art21.
Read more on Ann Hamilton at her website.
photo: Ann Hamilton and her "eye" camera