TRT: 7 Minutes, endless loop
Roiling tufts of sand rise up from the horizon line in slow motion, hushed and capacious clouds that spill across the ground such that the split between earth and air, hard and soft, dissolves. A four-wheeled ATV with an anonymous driver alternately appears and disappears, entering from the right, disappearing into the haze, then reappearing on the left, a ghostly apparition who only once in the video's seven minutes resolves clearly, a real figure with helmet, goggles and gloves.
This tumultuous, yellow-hued landscape and its elegiac nod to the murkiness of boundaries comes from LA-based artist Deanna Erdmann, a recent graduate of UCSD who in this project demonstrates a keen acumen, offering viewers an experience that is at once radiant conceptually and economical formally, achieving its goals without fanfare. Titled Donut, the video is installed as a rear-screen projection at Patrick Painter. Viewers enter the piece directly from the street, stumbling from the brightly lit sidewalk into the dark gallery where a large screen is suspended so that it touches the ground and divides the large room neatly in half. While you may initially be tempted to wander about, moving up close, behind and around the screen, the video yields a more potent experience for the viewer who stands still, pondering the patterns of dusty clouds as they billow up and then deflate in the warm glimmers of sunlight. The sound, a motor-like drone, is not haphazard, nor is the image sequence and the orchestration of absence and presence: watch it through, and you'll find a hushed lyricism and a clear pattern as the sandy scene demonstrates its quiet message.
- Holly Willis