HEIKE
BARANOWSKY

American Skies, GFine Art Washington, DC, 2006

 

The five videos that complete this series were shot in the US and Mexico between 2002-2005 and are seen here for the first time in their entirety.

 

The American Landscape is a singular, seemingly wide open and free space: this is the premise where Baranowsky began and where the viewer enters. The series starts with Blown in the Wind, 2002. In this video we see a tumbleweed cross the desert landscape. Shape Shifter, also 2002 shows a Zeppelin pivoting slowing on its axis tracing a lazy figure eight in the sky. Ballet, 2002 is taken in the Illinois landscape. In it a dark mass rises up, it is a flock of starlings that swoops off screen and doubles back reappearing from the other corner. Out of the Blue was shot in the landscape near Joshua Tree and show the trail left behind by a plane crisscrossing the sky. Mariposa, 2005 is the quiet document of the Monarch butterflies migration between North America and Mexico.

 

Four photographs hanging at the gallery entrance, however, pin down the images both geographically and politically and adds an unexpected dimension to the series. The pictures are press images of American military activity or natural phenomenon against a backdrop of industry. These suggest that the American skies are the site for political activity, The Zeppelin’s movement hints at surveillance, the movement of the starlings mass hysteria and the Out of the Blue video an animation layered on an American landscape is the flight patterns of American military planes over Afghanistan.

 

Baranowsky alters the speed of the videos, making us focus on the image’s form and compositional elements. By projecting the videos in different formats and sizes, Baranowsky structures an exercise for the viewer that plays with the architectural space and time. The videos lengthen, condense, mirror and dissect the successions of time and spacial relationships.

 

G Fine Art

January 28 – March 11, 2006