Cassie Riger, News (orange) (detail view) (2018); 114” x 150” x 124”; motor, paper, metal, plexiglass, slide projector with 80 handmade slides.
Cassie Riger: Automatic Vaudeville
Curated by Ciara Ennis
September 29 – December 8, 2018
Lenzner Family Art Gallery, Atherton Hall
Opening Reception: Saturday, September 29, 2 – 4 p.m.
Nichols Gallery, Broad Center
Inspired by groundbreaking scholarship of Miriam Hansen and Tom Gunning that focused on early cinema and pre-Hollywood viewing habits, Cassie Riger’s work recreates proto-cinematic devices that explore spectacle and desire.
Unlike contemporary cinema, film in the late 19th century was encountered in the chaotic context of a funfair or arcade, accessible to all and connected to the flux of everyday. Many early motion-picture devices, such as the Praxinoscope or Zoetrope, were viewer-activated, allowing the user some control of the image. Creating her own renditions of such devices, alongside sculptural, sonic and projected elements, Riger engages scale distortion, color filters and extremes of light and dark to underline the theatrical artifice of film. As Riger has remarked, her work aims to “foster a consideration of cinema as a social medium—with an eye toward viewers rather than auteurs.”
Riger’s immersive installations enable viewers to engage in the playful and accessible experience of early film, appreciate the medium’s sly trickery, and indulge in its magical qualities. This participatory aspect of viewing empowers the audience and sets it apart from its contemporary counterpart.
Artist Bio: Cassie Riger
Los Angeles artist Cassie Riger’s works use installation, kinetic sculpture, performance, and photography to investigate the history of moving images and the interplay between mass media and its audience. Her exhibition of light-based art, Prisms, won the 2018 Curator’s Lab award from Friends of Contemporary Art. She recently completed an NES Residency in Iceland and had projects at the Queer Biennial in Los Angeles and Plan B International Art Festival. She has had solo exhibitions at Northwestern University’s AIR Studio, University of California, Irvine’s Room Gallery and the Right Window Gallery in San Francisco. Riger has also published writing on photography, film and video in Camerawork: A Journal of Photographic Arts, ArtWeek, Art Ltd., and other publications. She earned an MA from the University of Chicago and an MFA from UC Irvine.
Artist Talk with Cassie Riger
Thursday, October 4 at 2 p.m.
Lenzner Family Art Gallery
This exhibition is supported in part by the California Arts Council, a state agency, and the National Arts and Disability Center at the University of California Los Angeles.
News (orange) (detail view) (2018); 114” x 150” x 124” (variable to site); Motor, paper, metal, plexiglass, slide projector with 80 handmade slides