THE HOUSE HAS GONE DOWN AND THE LAMPS ARE OUT
Venue: Burchfield Penney Art Center
Address: 1300 Elmwood Ave.
City: Buffalo, NY 14222 USA
Price: $5.00 - $10.00
Brief-description: Video installation of abandoned antebellum plantation house in North Carolina woods ; explores America's cultural divide
Event url: www.burchfieldpenney.org.
About: Video installation created by Michael Bosworth featuring the imagery of a flickering, abandoned antebellum plantation house in the remote North Carolina woods will open at the Burchfield Penney Art Center at SUNY Buffalo Friday, July 14. The House Has Gone Down and the Lamps Are Out exhibition, a 4-channel video designed to promote fear, distrust and the cultural divide in America, will be on view in The Center’s Project Space. “The title of my installation is a variation on the opening lines of author James Agee’s Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, a collaboration with photographer Walker Evans, which stylistically mediated on dirt poor southern tenet farmers during the Great Depression,” said Michael Bosworth. “His fearful, outsider narration opens with: ‘The house had now descended…. All over Alabama the lamps are out.’ The book is an artifact and product of its time; however, it affected the evolution of our culture. Its themes and concerns parallel our own times and its stark cultural divide.” “Hollywood tapped into this anxiety and fear of losing everything one has and being cast into the unknown with emergence of American horror films made after the stock market crash of 1929. The abandoned, decaying house manifested itself as symbol of something dark and unknown. The resulting social unrest, coupled with xenophobia, can be seen newspaper reports of intimidation, cross burning, and lynching, serve to illustrate how many American’s came to fear monsters in the woods,” said Bosworth. The four-channels of video are built of strings of still images of the house painted with light at night. “Light painting is an old photographic technique that involves a long exposure and a continuous directional light source. In total darkness, it doesn’t matter if a camera’s shutter is open or closed,” said Bosworth. “Light reflecting off a surface and traveling through the lens produces an exposure and if nothing is lit in front of the camera there can be no image recorded. Far from city lights and under a thick cano