EUGENE, Ore. -- (December 18, 2014) – “Two Ways Down,” a hand-drawn animated installation by Laura Heit is on view at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art on the University of Oregon campus from January 24 to March 29, 2015. The exhibition opens with a free, public reception on January 23 from 6 to 8 p.m.
“Two Ways Down” takes inspiration from “Hell-scape,” the third panel of Hieronymus Bosch’s “The Garden of Earthly Delights.” Reflecting on the momentary nature of life, Heit’s fantastical piece uses thrown shadows from tabletop dioramas and reflected and refracted animated projections to create a fleeting world where human-animal hybrids, specters and body parts morph and flit across the walls. Parts of the animations are deflected off carefully placed pieces of glass built into these miniature sets. Shadows of these mini worlds combine with the thrown moving image fragments, to create fleeting glimpses of a dark underworld on the gallery walls.
The larger picture reveals a dense landscape of micro-bodies: all in a constant state of flux as they walk, slither, wriggle, fly, burn, and return to dirt in an endless loop of deconstruction and resurrection.
“I began drawing animated loops of human animal hybrids, or micro-bodies on stacks of blank index cards,” says Heit in her artist statement. “Drawing is immediate; it connects the hand to the mind. The 'micro-bodies' are stream of conscious ideas, their movements are imagined and intuitive. Mistakes are embraced and included to highlight the infallibility of existence. Deep into the drawing process a large swarm of flying things surfaced, winged arms, moth-winged eyes, propelled morphing abstractions, and then airborne specters drifting slowing on jet streams. I followed this work intuitively, drawing often, and without an endpoint in mind, creating a huge box of hundreds of these short animated loops. These are the tiny hybrids that inhabit this installation. “
“Two Ways Down” was funded in part by a grant from the Regional Arts and Culture Council and has previously shown in Portland, Oregon, at Adams and Ollman and the Feldenheimer Gallery, Reed College.
On Wednesday, February 11, at 7 p.m., Heit will present short animations and talk about the ideas and process behind the making of her animated installation as part of the Schnitzer Cinema series on Experimental Media.
Heit is an experimental filmmaker and performance artist living in Portland Oregon. She employs a strong handmade aesthetic, an irreverent sense of humor, drawing, puppetry and animation to bring together ideas and stories about phantoms, ghosts, love, loss, and invisibility. Her experimental animation and puppet films have been screened extensively in the U.S. and abroad, including Rotterd am, Annecy, Hong Kong International Film Festival, London International Film Festival, Ann Arbor Film Festival, Walker Art Center, and MOMA.
Heit is also a recognized performance artist; recent performances of her solo cabaret act in which tiny stories unfold with puppets inside match boxes “The Matchbox Shows,” have included the Pompidou Centre, Paris; FIMFA Puppet Festival Lisbon, Portugal; TBA, Portland (2012); REDCAT, Los Angeles, CA; Santa Monica Museum of Art, CA; and the 8th Annual Great Small Works Toy Theater Festival at St. Ann’s Warehouse, DUMBO, NY.
About the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art
The University of Oregon's Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art is a premier Pacific Northwest museum for exhibitions and collections of historic and contemporary art based in a major university setting. The mission of the museum is to enhance the University of Oregon’s academic mission and to further the appreciation and enjoyment of the visual arts for the general public. The JSMA features significant collections galleries devoted to art from China, Japan, Korea, America and elsewhere as well as changing special exhibition galleries. The JSMA is one of six museums in Oregon accredited by the American Association of Museums.
The Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art is located on the University of Oregon campus at 1430 Johnson Lane. Museum hours are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesdays, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays through Sundays. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for senior citizens. Free admission is given to ages 18 and under, JSMA members, college students with ID, and University of Oregon faculty, staff and students. For information, contact the JSMA, 541-346-3027.
About the University of Oregon
The University of Oregon is among the 108 institutions chosen from 4,633 U.S. universities for top-tier designation of "Very High Research Activity" in the 2010 Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. The UO also is one of two Pacific Northwest members of the Association of American Universities.
Contact: Debbie Williamson Smith, 541-346-0942, email@example.com