Salt Lake City, UT
Kelly O’Neill presents 3D prints and CG photographic scenes constructed from photo documentation collected on the site of Nancy Holt’s seminal 1976 work titled Sun Tunnels. The tunnels, located 200 miles west of Salt Lake City, consist of four 9′ tall by 18′ long concrete tunnels situated in an X pattern. Through their placement, Holt sets viewers in the encircling horizon of the Great Basin Desert – immersing visitors in both its place and its contemplation of presence and time.
Through the work in rend/er, O’Neill asks, how close can one get to the tunnels without ever stepping outside? In his distillation of these desert structures it is evident something has been lost; rend/er’s exacting proximity reveals the imperfect distance of digital recreation as each print and facsimile becomes marred by pixelation and the fragmentation of a simulated copy.
In this dislocation, O’Neill argues that something has also been gained.
rend/er presses the audience to not only consider their place and presence in relation to Holt’s project but to contemplate their digital experience and the models on which our contemporary understanding of space teeter. In a sense, rend/er re-performs Nancy Holt’s artistic endeavor: attempting to re-frame our relationship between physical and imagined spaces, emphasizing the ways in which these modes of experience diverge, coalesce, and interfere with one another.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website.