Krowswork Logo

Three Solo Presentations: Margo Majewska, Ilene Segalove, Mary Hull Webster

opening reception Friday, September 6, 6-9 pm
on view through October 12, 2013

Krowswork is pleased to present three solo installations by Margo Majewska, Ilene Segalove, and Mary Hull Webster, which each complicate the presentiments of linear video by looping back and through personal histories and visual data, marking memory, time’s passage, and the integration of self-knowledge as quantum, simultaneous experiences out of which a new hybrid consciousness is born.

These artists’ projects are united by their insistent reference of extra-temporal modes of being made possible through video, but their purpose is not to propose an immortality through digital means. They suggest instead that time was never lost and understand impermanence as the ultimate abstraction. In the videos each artist overlays something of her present on her digitally remembered or simulated self; in that moment time collapses. And when this is done (is able to be done), what really is past? Each installation, to some degree, provides a proof of a paradox worthy of a Buddhist koan: perhaps the self always and never was.

Margo Majewska   Ilene Segalove     Mary Hull  Webster

Margo Majewska - Sky Meadow Road

  Ilene Segalove - Whatever Happened to My Future?     Mary Hull Webster - Hidden Narratives

In Majewska’s presentation, Sky Meadow Road, the focus is on nature—adding to a rich history of the contemplation of time through the observation of the natural world. A precisely lit forest grows in the gallery space; we sit or stand among the spindly branches while along the walls pass fast moving images of trees as they meet the sky. The self is physically there but psychically absent, as the impermanence of both the forest and the video recording become a singularity that subsumes any individual thought. Memories of the artist as a girl in her native Poland collapse onto a rural drive through the Santa Cruz Mountains of California. As we observe this linear streaming-by of nature, time seems to come to a stand still and then disappear. Majewska reminds us that even in our digital world, nature remains our temporal guide. It has been humans’ one constant universe, through which we make only small tracks, and into whose infinity our finite histories merge as one.


Segalove’s funny, frank video Whatever Happened to My Future? features a present-day Segalove talking to a previously recorded (40 years ago) video-taped version of her younger self, who is seriously and plaintively querying the nature of the future she will experience. That this younger Segalove no longer exists but the tape of her still does already raises questions of an ontological nature—questions that were at one point only the stuff of science fiction but now must be parsed on a daily basis. Even further, though, as she answers her younger self’s earnest (and linear) queries with sublime humor and sensitivity, Segalove’s video points out the strange and obvious paradox of today’s digital existence: everyday we see, experience, and learn in multiple universes of past and present selves. These universes (and multiples selves) were always there but we have never experienced them with the simultaneity with which we must try to take them in and process them now. This lesson in video-rhetoric results in a refreshing look at art and time.

*Segalove's work appears courtesy of Jancar Gallery, Los Angeles.


If the other two installations give evidence of their Euclidian origins, Mary Hull Webster’s three-video installation Hidden Narratives stands as a precipitate of a chemical reaction, whose reagents are no longer really relevant. Each of the three videos (The Last Journey of a Very Old Man, A Book of Days, and Field Phenomena), all of which draw to some degree from previous iterations of past videos as well as from one another, are on the surface composed of digital, ever-compounding abstractions, but the truth of them is far more profound than simple visual stimulation. As you watch you realize that each moment (frame) of colorful, sounding pattern activates a view of infinitely existing times and space that want to be engaged in human awareness. Set within the competing, conflicting cross talk of our everyday lives, Webster’s alternative narratives mean to release an implicit unity of a different order that continually presents itself as a streaming, transpersonal reality. For her the elemental language for this search is found in the possibilities of a video timeline itself: these are revelations about time, made of translucent (video) time. The result is strangely material and emotionally palpable.