Jennifer Steinkamp presents a video animation inspired by the Grimm Brothers’ fairy tale “Rapunzel.”
In the story, Rapunzel’s pregnant mother sends her husband to fetch the mountain herb rampion, which he finds blossoming in the garden of the witch who lives next door. The witch, however, discovers the thievery, and the mother 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. The story also serves as a sad portrait of parents sacrificing their children to feed their addictions.
In the exhibition space, computer-generated images of horrifying but beautiful flowers, and hair, act as motifs for key elements in the tale. The flowers’ movements are supernaturally violent, as if of their own will, yet without being overly specific, allowing viewers to imagine their own stories.
A teacher in UCLA’s media art department, Steinkamp creates works that marry universal issues of human existence and leading-edge visualization technologies.
Photo: Iwasaki Mami
Born 1958 in Denver, US; lives and works in Los Angeles, US. Received her BFA, MFA and an honorary PhD from ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena, US. Steinkamp creates video installations that explore nature, architecture, contemporary social issues, and the passage of time. Her works are in the permanent collections of numerous museums including San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (US), The Fosun Foundation (Shanghai, China) and Istanbul Modern (Turkey).