Morgana Plains, New York City Ghosts I, 2009

 

Site-specific Installation: Two video projections, glass, wood, paper. Two DVD 17’ and 20’ loops with sound. Main hall at ground level.

Part of the solo exhibiton Morgana Plains, from silver to gold.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Video documentation contains fragments of: Morgana Plains - NYC Ghosts I, Morgana Plains, Water in the Sky, and Red Light, Poses I. Music credits: Fragments of Jay-Z' Empire State of Mind. Thanks to Wooden Shjips for the soundtrack Clouds over Earthquake.

Part of the solo exhibiton Morgana Plains, from silver to gold, at Artswestchester, White Plains (NY), five site-specific installations: Three in the downstairs gallery (bank lobby) and two on the 2nd floor gallery.

The works are spread over both ground floor and 2nd floor gallery spaces in a former bank building. Visitors are invited to wander through the five installations, exploring the work and the exhibition spaces from different points and perspectives.


 

Presented at Artswestchester, White Plains (NY), in partnership with the Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art, and made possible by The Netherlands-based BKVB Foundation, and the Consulate General of the Netherlands

Many thanks for in-kind contributions from Klahr Glass Co, The Esplanade Hotel of White Plains, Jacob Burns Film Center, Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art, the New Rochelle Public Library, the Neuberger Museum of Art, Claude Grant, Corporate AV, and others. 

The Morgana Plains catalogue:

 

A site-specific installation, Morgana Plains, from Silver to Gold thematically linked New York City, the city of White Plains, and the Hudson River. Regarding the exhibition’s title, Gartz explains that the word ‘morgana’ comes from ‘fata morgana’, which has been used in Europe of old to refer to a physical phenomenon, a beguiling mirage that weary travelers see in a desert. Prior to the exhibition, Gartz spent two weeks gathering video images: 
 
'From the twin skyscrapers of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in White Plains one can see the city far below, one can overlook the Hudson Valley, and even see the New York City skyline as a fata morgana in the distance. There is the magnetic attraction of Manhattan, as opposed to the suggestion in the name of White Plains, of open spaces and clear air. The Hudson River is like a filmic horizon, a binding element'. 


The exhibition consists of five separate multimedia works with constantly changing video and slide projections occupying the entire Artswestchester Arts Exchange building. Its centerpiece, Morgana Plains, New York City Ghosts I, was installed at the heart of the building in the Grand Banking Room. It was a large tableau of glass, placed on the floor and measuring 20 x 14 feet, upon which video images were projected, suggesting a platform or tray serving up images. The horizontal tableau ‘carried’ the images, while the glass mirrored them back onto the ceiling, emphasizing the height of the space. At the back of the space, the illumintaed circular entrance of the former bank vault resembled a sun, a perfect backdrop for the video landscape. Thus, the former bank lobby was transformed into a church-like space. It was accompanied by the other works, both in the side and upstairs spaces, which created a highly concentrated situation. As a consequence, this drew people into the work and into a mental space.

Morgana Plains showed images from everyday New York life: car parks, traffic lanes, advertisements from Time Square, video walls on buildings, shots of shop windows, people walking in the streets or disembarking from the ferry at night, culminating in the video installation Red Light, Poses I at the top of the building. The large scale of the projection – a red and black sequence of shots of Gartz' body in vaguely erotic poses, typical of advertising – which spread across the architectural elements, meant her own body became part of the building too.