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Quick picks: tectonic industries

Minn Post     February 29th, 2008
By Molly Priesmeyer

Photo courtesy of tectonic industries

“Tectonic Industries: The Desire to Stay Versus the Inevitability of Change.”
Franklin Artworks, 1021 E. Franklin Ave., Minneapolis. Through March 29. Free.

The uneasiness is palpable in a room where 16 people seem to talk to one another via flickering TV screens. The televised subjects are part of Franklin Artworks’ current video installation, “Tectonic Industries: The Desire to Stay Versus the Inevitability of Change.”

It isn’t so much the subject matter causing the tension (they read lines from Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds), it’s the settings in which the subjects are being watched. They’re sitting on couches or beds, staring in numbed-out poses in front of the TV, movie or computer screen.

When we numb out in our own worlds, no one is anchored in front watching us. But what if they were? Twin Cities-based artists Lars Jerlach and Helen Stringfellow describe their video installation as exploring the artifice inherent within the creation of modern myths. In other words, it’s intended to be emotionless, unaffected retelling of a popular story in an oddly domestic setting.

The most compelling piece of the project isn’t in its re-creating or dissecting of popular culture. Rather it’s the medium and its ability to piece together and remake a story, stilted and spectacle-free, that makes the work stand out. The televised subjects could be reading a Scope commercial and the work would still be technically intriguing and creepily prescient.

[Click here to view this article on the Minn Post website]

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