press release

Learning to Watch/Aprender a mirar was an exhibition in the sala rekalde that brought together seven works produced by the American artists Jennifer (1968) and Kevin McCoy (1967) over the course of the last four years. The work of these artists in installations, video and photography explores the various modes of imagining perception in a world filled with images. This exhibition looks in particular at our cinematographic memory, at how the images in film are constructed and at how we, the viewers, approach them, consume them and incorporate them into our own databases, thereby turning them into a common reference for the audience.

Soft Rains (2003), the title of which is taken from a science-fiction short story by Ray Bradbury, was the most recent piece in the exhibition. It consists of seven small-scale film sets, lit and shot by miniature cameras connected to a computer, which in turn projects the various scenes on a large screen that dominates the space. The way in which the scenes are constructed and in which the film and music that accompany these images string together the narrative is very different. Contrasting with these sets that can be taken in, like objects, at a single glance is another image projected, processed and edited by computer that is the result of the various points of view offered by the cameras dotted around the set. Soft Rains was co-produced by FACT, the Liverpool-based centre for Film, Art, and Creative Technology, Eyebeam and Creative Capital of New York.

Horror Chase (2002) was the first piece on display as you enter the exhibition. It is a film installation that recreates a scene from Sam Raimi’s film Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn. In a small studio in Brooklyn, the artists reconstructed a single chase scene. In the exhibition, a software program installed on a computer, which is part of the installation, randomly determines the speed and the order in which the scene is screened.

The Kiss (2002) manipulates a scene from the film Body Heat, directed by Lawrence Kasdan. In Body Heat, William Hurt and Kathleen Turner kiss, but in this installation the scene is interrupted, suspended in an eternal romantic moment reinvented over and over again by the computer program.

The exhibition also includes a series of photographs taken of the set of Horror Chase, as well as three works that can be seen in the entrance hall: Learning from Las Vegas (2003), Every Shot Every Episode (2001) and Every Anvil (2001). Here the support is a collection of scenes that turn the television series Starsky and Hutch into a classification of categories such as “every garage that appears in the series”, “every motorbike” and “every car chase”.

Jennifer and Kevin McCoy have been working together since 1990. They both live and work in Brooklyn, New York. Kevin McCoy teaches Technology at NY City College and Jennifer McCoy teaches Computer Graphics at Brooklyn College.

This exhibition has been curated by Cecilia Andersson (Sweden), a freelance curator currently working and living in Liverpool.


Jennifer & Kevin McCoy "Learning to watch"