On Thursday evening, I went to the Crane Arts Center in Philadelphia, for their regular Second Thursday opening. I especially enjoyed the Nadia Hironaka and Matthew Suib video installation in the Icebox, entitled The Soft Epic or: Savages of the Pacific West.
Multiple projections create the 120 foot-long panorama. Pictures of historical disasters such as the 1960 Park Slope plane crash are collaged with representations of Hieronymus Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights along with various effects and images from sci-fi and disaster films. The amalgamation of these dense layers of documentation, mythology and cinema is an epic narrative that recalls Matthew Barney, Hollywood, popular culture, and the political anxiety that periodically and presently permeates American society.
Pictured is The Soft Epic or: Savages of the Pacific West.