Hurdy Gurdy Man (Chrysanthemums), 2006
Video installation, edition of six, AP 1/1
Est: 2.6 x 4 feet
Courtesy the artist and Lehmann Maupin Gallery, New York
In this computer-animated projection, Jennifer Steinkamp has set a traditional still-life subject into motion. A group of delicate, pastel-hued chrysanthemums seems to bob and sway to the Donovan song for which the piece is named. Their movement is mesmerizing, but also vaguely unsettling; despite the still air in the gallery, Steinkamp's fantasy garden is in constant, repetitive motion. The contrast between the naturalistic appearance of the blossoms and the artificiality of their movement is an example of the disorienting experiences we construct for ourselves in our digitized world. Like Steinkamp's other video installations, Hurdy Gurdy Man explores ideas of motion and perception, testing our responses to forms that are simultaneously familiar and impossible.