Media artist Marco Brambilla’s solo show titled “The Dark Lining” currently on view at the Santa Monica Museum of Art (SMMoA) provides an extreme viewing experience as you proceed through shadowy, labyrinth-like corridors and video stations. The show begins placidly enough with Sea of Tranquility, a quiet time lapse video named after the location of the first manned landing on the Moon. But with each twist and turn through the maze of the exhibit, visitors begin to encounter increasingly intense pieces until the show climaxes with two epic (in every sense of the word) 3D video works shown in concert for what may be the first use of the technology in an art context.
In this manner, SMMoA curator Lisa Melandri provides an overview of Brambilla’s work from 2001 to the present across seven video installations including Sea of Tranquility, Cathedral (shown above), HalfLife, Wall of Death, Sync (Watch), and the two theatrically extravagant Civilization (Megaplex) and Evolution (Megaplex). Cathedral comprises a collage of images from Brambilla’s footage of holiday shoppers against the backdrop of a glass-ceilinged Toronto mega mall. The images are placed in a single frame and then rotated to produce a succession of symmetrical designs creating the effect of a surreal stained glass window. All of the pieces exhibited comprise Brambilla’s own material or found film footage edited and animated to create what he describes as “a video canvas where the brushstrokes are loops or samples taken from film.” “The Dark Lining” is currently on view until August 20, 2011 and admittance is free with a suggested donation of $5.