Megan and Murray McMillan, A Slight Shift of Gravity: Photograph 1, 2008
Our exhibition A Slight Shift of Gravity is currently on view at Gallery Titanik in Turku, Finland. In conjunction with this exhibition, we are hosting an online opening here on our blog featuring the video that’s currently on view at Titanik. In addition, we are including here the two photographs that are part of the same body of work. An alternate edit of the video is available here on our YouTube channel.
Megan and Murray McMillan, A Slight Shift of Gravity: Photograph 2, 2008
Production image of the shoot, photo by Reino Koivula.
A Slight Shift of Gravity opens tonight at Galleria Titanik from 6-8pm.
Itäinen Rantakatu 8
20700 Turku, Finland
In this image we’re adjusting the choreography and lighting. If you look closely, you can see how we’ve designed the landscape to slide open–there is a channel that goes directly through to the performer stage (see the image on the previous post).
Here is the final set, with the angle of the landscape and performer stage corrected. When seen from the front, this trick becomes invisible.
We’ve now hung the landscape, but when we looked through the camera, the perspective looks wrong. Because the top stage (where one performer will be) and the landscape are parallel to each other, the camera can’t see either one well. Time to re-build. We’ll remove both the stage and the landscape and refabricate both at a slope towards the camera [so if seen from the side, they will create a wedge].
Here’s the finished (Finnish) landscape, ready to be mounted on the platform.
Last night we went to a performance of the two dancers, Nina Renvall and Janne Kilpiö, who will be in the video we’re shooting tomorrow. It was a lovely, funny and absurd improvisational dance performance on a stage covered completely with greenery, weeds, and other plant-life taken from nature. Part Buster Keaton, part Pina Baush.
We’re lucky to have found performers whose sensibilities are so in sync with our own.
We’re creating a contour “map” of a landscape that references the Åland Archipelago that stretches between Finland and Sweden in the Baltic Sea. Like all of Finland, the archipelago is in the midst of “The Great Uplift” – a post-glacial rebound where land masses that were depressed by the huge weight of ice sheets during the last glacial period are rising due to ice melt.
“According to the isostatic theory, land uplift reduces gravity. In Finland the connection between land uplift and gravity has been studied with high precision gravity measurements over the past 18 years. The results show that, although there are significant variations in gravity, the variations are not linear with the time but rather periodic ones.” -from “Finnish measurements of the Fennoscandian land uplift gravity lines in Finland 1966-1984,” by A. Kiviniemi of the Geodetic Inst., Helsinki [link].
Because of global climate change, the low-lying archipelago is in a neck-and-neck race where the sea levels are rising at nearly the same rate as the land itself is rising, due being released from the weight of the melted glacial ice [link].
A Slight Shift of Gravity, 2008, Megan and Murray McMillan, production still
A Slight Shift of Gravity, a new video installation by Megan and Murray McMillan, will open at Galleria Titanik on Thursday, July 10 from 6-8pm.
Megan and Murray McMillan are an artist-partnership collaborating in video, photography and installation. They are represented by Qbox Gallery in Athens, Greece and have exhibited nationally and internationally including the National Museum of Art in La Paz, Bolivia. They are beneficiaries of several awards including grants from the Dallas Museum of Art and Purdue University. They recently participated in the 10th International Istanbul Biennial (2007) in Turkey.
The McMillans have been married since 1997 and live and work in Providence, Rhode Island and are currently the Sumu Arte new media artists-in-residence.
Itäinen Rantakatu 8
20700 Turku, Finland
The exhibition will open concurrently on the blog and on our YouTube channel.
Platform is mostly done, and today we start building the contoured foam landscape.
So far, we’ve been able to salvage and use almost all of the wood from our dumpster bounty to create the platform for the landscape. The structure needs to be strong enough to support one performer as well as the landscape model, so we added these extra trusses after a strength test that involved Murray bouncing around on the platform like a trampoline. Now it’s so strong it doesn’t even shift under the addition of new weight.
Today we meet with our two performers. We’ll shoot later this week.