Jennifer Steinkamp exhibits a video animation inspired by the Grimm Brothers’ Rapunzel fairy tale. In this story, Rapunzel’s pregnant mother sends her husband to fetch the mountain herb raiponse, which he finds blossoming in the garden of the witch who lives next door. The witch, however, discovers the thievery, and the other is forced to give her daughter to the witch in exchange. The witch locks Rapunzel in a tower, where the only way she can receive visitors is by letting down her hair. It is a sad portrait of a parent sacrificing her children to feed an addiction. In the exhibition space, computer-generated images of grotesque but beautiful flowers act as a motif of the raiponse in the tale. The flower’s movements are supernaturally violent, as if of their own will, yet without being overly specific, allowing viewers to imagine their own stories. A teacher at UCLA’s media art department, the artist seeks expressions bridging universal issues of human existence with leading-edge visualization technologies.
Born in Denver, Colorado, USA, in 1958. Graduated from Art Center College of Design. Lives and works in Los Angeles.