Directed Dreaming

March 4, 2006 - April 8, 2006

Postmasters Gallery, New York, NY

In Directed Dreaming, the McCoys present four new sculptures that use movement to explore anxiety. The title of the exhibit refers to practice of willing oneself to dream about specific situations?in order to resolve conflicts in one’s waking life. The works in Directed Dreaming fuse cinematic, personal, and historical images to become visual records of those conflicts, with the question of resolution left open to the viewer. The McCoys' sculptures are fragmentary miniature film sets with lights, video cameras, and moving sculptural elements. Camera views are sequenced to create live cinematic events. By exposing the image making apparatus along with the projected results, the work explores both time-based and physical reality. The two major sculptures in this show expand on the McCoys’ 2004 installation Our Second Date by further exploring the artists personal history, fantasies, and memories. Second Date incorporated miniature models of Jennifer and Kevin intercut with views of a meticulously crafted miniature scene from Godard's Weekend. The works in Directed Dreaming splinter the couple’s shared autobiography. In Double Fantasy II (sex), the McCoys represent themselves as nine year olds, drawing on?a child’s scant sexual understanding to generate fantasies of their adult selves. With this technique they each reach back to a time when their ideas about love and sex were created from an amalgam of observations from television, popular culture and playground gossip that was hopelessly far from reality. In that these sources provide only the broadest of gestures, Double Fantasy II is an autobiographical?take on the importance of genre. Formally, the work is a two-sided sculpture containing miniature film sets that fragment and isolate bodies at once fetishized and romanticized. The images captured by the tiny cameras cut together quickly to form a stream of consciousness meditation on the elusive subject of nascent sexuality and childhood imagination. In Dream Sequence, the McCoys examine how sleep becomes a filter through which objective reality becomes fantasy . The work consists of a two-sided, 3 feet in diameter revolving circle, each?side corresponding to the dream world of one of the artists. Using an obsolete trick of early cinema,?a partially reflective mirror superimposes the sleeping artists against mutating landscapes. The resulting double projection physicalizes the dream worlds of each artist’s psyche. Kevin sees a helicopter unloading soldiers in a bleak landscape. Jennifer dreams of floods that segue into suburban resort swimming pools. The artists abandon the cinematic idea of editing with its jarring ruptures and discontinuities and instead set in motion a fluid self-sustaining world in front of the camera and in front of the viewer. Included in the show are two wall mounted sculptures from the Clouds series that explore the vocabulary of a unending one shot film. In Clouds 9 and Clouds 10, cameras are trained on moving cloud formations to create suggestions of unknowable and yet moving and possibly ominous events.


Works Shown

Double Fantasy 2 (sex)

2006, Sculptural video installation with projection.

The artists are portrayed as young people in a miniature tableau which reconstructs an early experience in which a future sexual experience was imagined. The sculpture consists of a vertically-oriented platform mounted on a floor-based stand. Miniature elements, lighting and cameras are mounted on either side of the platform. The live video cameras capture shots of the tableau, which are sequenced by computer into an endlessly looping live video, projected as part of the installation.

Clouds #10 (refugees)

2005, Wall-mounted kinetic video sculpture

One from a series of miniature works inspired by Alfred Stieglitz’s Equivalent Series(1922-35), a photographic study of clouds as pure pattern. In each work, a cloud formation is fashioned from cotton wool and other materials and affixed to a cylinder. The cylinder is mounted to a motor, which rotates it slowly. A live video camera captures this image which gives the appearance of clouds moving across the sky. In the foreground of the live video image, a group of refugees walk slowly single file down a road beneath an unforgiving sky.

Dream Sequence

2006, Sculptural kinetic video installation with 2 channel projection

A large two-sided wheel, set at a forty-five degree angle, rotates slowly on its axis. The wheel is covered with miniature elements depicting dream-like imagery. Next to the rotating wheel, two miniature figurines representing the artists are lying asleep in twin beds. In front of each bed is a half-silvered mirror, partially reflecting the slowly moving dream images, and partially transmitting an image of the artists. A video camera is trained on each character, showing a composite of the sleeping figure and a translucent reflection of their dream imagery. Live video feeds from each camera are presented as a two-channel projection.

Clouds #9 (priest)

2005, Wall-mounted kinetic video sculpture

The Cloud series was inspired by Alfred Stieglitz’s Equivalent Series (1922-35), a photographic study of clouds as pure pattern. In this work, a cloud formation is fashioned from cotton wool and other materials and affixed to a cylinder. The cylinder is mounted to a motor, which rotates it slowly. A live video camera captures this image which gives the appearance of clouds moving across the sky, creating a one shot movie. In the foreground of the live video image, a priest stands against a red, apocalyptic sky.

Clouds #2 (woman)

2005, Wall-mounted kinetic video sculpture

One from a series of miniature works inspired by Alfred Stieglitz’s Equivalent Series(1922-35), a photographic study of clouds as pure pattern. In each work, a cloud formation is fashioned from cotton wool and other materials and affixed to a cylinder. The cylinder is mounted to a motor, which rotates it slowly. A live video camera captures this image which gives the appearance of clouds moving across the sky. In the foreground of the live video image, a woman stands naked, shielding her eyes from a dramatic sky.