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january/february/2020 vol.39/no1 ‘A PUBLICATION OF THE INTERNATIONAL SCULPTURE CENTER ‘WWIW.SCULPTURE ORG PAE MELVIN EDWARDS TATIANA OUVE FUTURE RETRIEVAL ANNUAL SCULPTOR SHOWCASE & 1) ~~. Ill % Ill I 74470154857" Carl Lee Undercurrent Gatiery ‘Myoptic,” a soulptural video installation by Carl Lee, contemplated the intiate twining of spec- tatorship, memory, and technology. The tite, play on the word “myo- lc,” strongly underscores this notion: “myopic” means nearsighted, not beng able to See the wider view without some sort of corrective lens; "myopic" seems to indicate a more personal spectatorship, ‘the nostalgic lens through which we each, indivi aly, experience the past. ‘Throughout "Myoptic,” Lae playfully foregraunde the ‘devices that we use to view personal media In Vision Test, for example, alarge structure resembling a nov- tty souvenir photo viewer (ofthe kind one might, purchase at a tours site ‘contains a looping video ‘of aman opening the front door to a small one-story house, surveying the gar- den, and watering plants Mush tke the photos in a souvenie viewer, this simple video sequence induces a nagging sense of déj vu ‘of having somehow seen this site before. To produce this effect, Lee located a home in suburban Buffalo, New York, that fathully replicated the image of the house found within an autoratractor, ammactine Used during eye exam inations to measure how light changes as it enters 8 person's aye. Vision Test sl uses visual sleight fof hand to question how memories of mages and memories of experiences ‘can become confated within our media-saturated environment Home Movies evokes yet another nostalgic optical device—the tower viewtinder found at roadside scenic lookouts. Here, a pair of binoculars pointed across the gallery at a wooden structure ‘on which 2 small video wwas projected. Gazing through the binoculars, the viewer saw snippets of home movies from Lee's personal archive—his father singing karaoke at a family gathering, is young daughter talking with his wife, a boat ride dow a canal. While the act of peeping into Lee's intimate memories can feo abit voyeuristic, Home Movies also works to remind us that we live in an era when we increasingly experience all manner of life events ata distance, through the lens ofa viewrinder. Telescope House 2, the ‘most conceptually and technically complex work In the show, takes the form Of Buffalo's iconic tele- scope houses, Bult in the 49th century as workers cottages, telescope hous. .9s spor a series of suc- ‘cessive linear additions, each one smaller in height than the previous, whit gives the appearance of a collapsibie spyglass or handheld telescope. Much like @ house owner layering ‘additions on one after the other, Lee layers the video Jmagery projected within the structure through the: use of Pepper's ghost, an ‘optical ilusion technique popularized by John Henry Pepper in the rid-18008. Unlike Pepper, however, Lee exposes his visual trickery, removing the roof and walls of the last ‘extension to reveal the angled glass that creates his superimpositions: a ‘Sequence from Eadweard Muybridge’s Horse in Motion (widely considered to bo the fist moving image), footage of his daughter playing out- doors, and a letter board fn which Lee attempts to spell out personal ‘memories of his daughter. With Telescope House 2, Lee contemplates the Constructedness of he ‘moving image, reaching ‘back t the earliest movie to make his point and, in the process, revealing the faultiness of video 1s an objective source of recall In an era when smartphones and tablets have become our optical devices du jour, but the veracity of the image itseiv has come under fire, Lee reminds us to be Gligent spectators of our ‘own past. LAURA MegouGH