Critical Writing Index

Floating Worlds: Amy Jenkins's Dream Videos

by Fred Camper

PAJ: A Journal of Performance and Art, 2002, v. 24, no. 3, pp. 87-91

Amy Jenkins' installation Without, which showed at the Julia Friedman Gallery in Chicago, invites visitors to lie down on a mat and view a projected video on the ceiling. The images are of clouds as seen through a pond, with tiny people floating over top, and the audio is the sound of muffled voices, with the occasional recognizable phrase slipping through. The position of the viewer in this piece as well as the ambiguity of image and sound forefront the viewing process itself and invite consideration of the perceptual and psychological. The piece is, therefore, at once soothing and anxiety inducing. This effect mirrors Jenkins' earlier works. The second piece by Jenkins on view at the Julia Friedman Gallery, titled Shelter for Daydreaming, consists of two images projected on a hanging wall, each image lasting about four minutes long. One image is of the interior of a house and the other shows a house floating upside down in water, shot from under water so that the house appears right side up. The set up of the installation mimics the set up of each of the shots, which both possess a dividing line within them (in one, a wall, in the other, the water line). Shelter for Daydreaming evokes a sense of meditativeness while also feeling precarious; as Jenkins states, "[it] invokes the netherworld of 'In-Betweenness'". Both Without and Shelter for Daydreaming involve Jenkins' fascination with miniatures (in one, human figures, in the other, a kit house), but more importantly they play with the viewer's awareness of the aesthetic experience itself.

ITEM 2002.210 – available for viewing in the Research Centre

Videos, Artworks and Artists Cited

WithoutAmy Jenkins

Shelter for DaydreamingAmy Jenkins