Tracey Snelling’s installations are immersive blends of sculpture, video, and photography, her makeshift buildings containing surprises in their windows and corners. Her recent, massive construction at the 58th Venice Biennale reflects on her experiences living in China, in particular. Videos shown within offer peeks into her experiences with friends; structures are inspired by actual places she visited.
Tracey Snelling is currently featured in our Turn the Page: The First Ten Years of Hi-Fructose exhibition at Virginia MOCA, Imagining Home at the Baltimore Museum of Art, and soon at Volta Basel, opening this week. We caught up with her to talk about her new works, which collectively offer psychedelic versions of places, as in her recreation of strip clubs, as well as her own criticisms, expressed in “Shoot It!”, a commentary on gun rights in America.
Oakland based artist Tracey Snelling, featured in Hi-Fructose Vol. 35, creates detailed dioramas and installations of urban landscapes. Ranging from miniature to large scale pieces, her installations represent her impression of a space through the use of mixed media like sculpture, video, and photography. Hers is an imaginary world based on real places, sometimes populated by dolls and figurines, and lit dramatically by LCD screens and film stills to add a flicker of life. For her latest multimedia installation debuting on November 20th, Snelling wanted to capture the vulnerability and strength found in poverty-stricken slums around the world.
Tracey Snelling’s miniature house sculptures are not doll houses by any means. The multimedia artist pours her obsession with horror films into her work, creating frightening ambiances in seemingly mundane settings. Lights and a soundtrack accompany each piece. While Snelling eschews using actual dolls or figurines to populate her tiny worlds, movie clips on LCD screens or film stills animate the windows of the small houses, usually endowing them with a sense of mystery or foreboding. Read more after the jump.
Snippets of Japanese and Spanish echo in the background of the slums and tenements. Neon lights flicker in the distance as one voyeuristically peeks inside the apartments, their inhabitants often nude in dwellings echoing from the past a vintage film oozing with noir and noise. We have entered into the miniature world of artist Tracey Snelling.
Where do our imaginations go wild? In hollow movie theaters with all-consuming figures on the big screen, or in the thin pieces of paper that make up this year’s Oprah Book Club pick? Our culture’s storytelling hardly leaves room for fill-in-the-blanks yet Tracey Snelling presents an exercise for the imagination in her current 10-Year retrospective at Rena Bransten Gallery. In this multimedia show containing sculptures, photographs and videos, Tracey creates a 3-dimensional scrapbook of once-inhabited scenes. Who lived in the border town and who slept in that hotel room? Why have they gone? What evidence remains?
Kirsten Incorvaia finds out the answers to these questions and more in an exclusive interview for Hi-Fructose.