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Rob Carter's Metropolis, Graeme Patterson's Grudge Match, Allison Schulnik's Forest
June 15–July 15, 2010



Creative Time will present one video each by emerging artists Rob Carter, Graeme Patterson, and Allison Schulnik. The artists freshly mine the possibilities of stop-motion animation, which has been used in filmmaking for over a century. By constructing detailed microcosms of paper and clay, the artists in this series transport us into the kinetic worlds of a city experiencing exponential growth, a discrete memory of youthful contention, and a strange, alien planet. Simultaneously, the analog—and extremely time- and labor-intensive—process by which these worlds are rendered comes into stark contrast with the overwhelmingly digital landscape of Times Square.

"We are thrilled to put this new and exciting work in the heart of the media capital of the world," said Anne Pasternak, President and Artistic Director of Creative Time, "and thanks to our great partners at MTV, there is a generous allotment of time on the city's brightest HD video billboard to showcase these rising stars."

Made entirely from photographic images printed on paper, Rob Carter's Metropolis (2008) is an abridged narrative history of the city of Charlotte, NC, one of the fastest-growing cities in the country. It uses stop-motion video animation to physically manipulate aerial still images of the city (both real and fictional), creating a landscape in constant motion. The four-minute excerpt of video shown At 44 1⁄2 depicts the city's economic and architectural boom of the past 20 years, before extrapolating into the future. The final images remind us as of our civilization's paper-thin existence, no matter how many monuments of steel, glass, and concrete we build. Set within the heart of another metropolis—New York—the animation asks us to consider the evolution, and eventual decay, of the sky-scraping hubris that surrounds us.

Graeme Patterson's Grudge Match (2009) is an elegantly simple and self-contained drama based on a memory from the artist's early years, imbued with a subtle aura of fantasy and surrealism. Throughout the course of a single wrestling match, two miniature figures engage in a struggle that is simultaneously competitive and playful, a surprising amount of emotion visible in their Lilliputian postures, embraces, and headlocks. Rendered at 1/10 human scale, and then blown up to fill the monumental MTV screen, the video conflates a small, private moment—the bleachers in Patterson's gymnasium are oddly empty—and the larger-than-life, public arena of Times Square.

Forest (2009) follows Allison Schulnik's hobo-clown protagonist, Long Hair Hobo, as he explores an unfamiliar, forested world, where he encounters an alternate-reality version of himself. Schulnik created the sets from material collected from the railroad tracks and woods near her studio, and imbued her characters with life by carefully sculpting their clay bodies one frame at a time. The trippy animation was used as the music video for the track "Ready, Able" by the Brooklyn-based band Grizzly Bear. Now, with the video's presentation on the MTV screen, Long Hair Hobo peers with deep, expressive eyes out into the dense multitude of Times Square before beginning his strange journey.

The larger than life, high definition 44 1/2 screen is located on Broadway between 44th and 45th Streets, directly across the street from MTV's offices and studio. At 44 1/2 is part of Creative Time's long history of presenting public art in Times Square.

A viewing schedule and directions to the screen are available here.

Rob Carter (born 1976 in Worcester, UK; lives and works in Brooklyn, NY) uses stop-motion animation and photographic re-constructions of architectural forms to bring to life historical narratives. His meticulous technique combines paper images and living plants to create imaginative retellings of urban development. Carter received his BFA from the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art at Oxford University and his MFA from Hunter College. He has exhibited his work in the U.S. and abroad, including the Museum of Art and Design, New York, NY; and the Fondazione Pastificio Cerere, Rome, Italy.

Graeme Patterson (born 1980 in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan; lives and works in Halifax, Nova Scotia) uses a self-taught approach to stop-motion animation to create miniature worlds based on personal memories and experiences. His practice engages universal themes of longing, loss, and recovery to transport the viewer into the playful yet somewhat eerie universe of the artist's childhood. Patterson graduated from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in 2002, and has had recent exhibitions at Galerie Simon Blais, Montreal, Canada; Art Gallery of Alberta, Canada; and Eli Klein Fine Art Gallery, New York, NY. He was also a finalist for the 2009 Sobey Art Award.

In her animations, Allison Schulnik (born 1978, San Diego, CA; lives and works in Los Angeles, CA) skillfully employs clay as a medium for conveying otherworldly forms and narratives. Simultaneously working in paint, sculpture, and animation (she is also a dancer and musician), Schulnik visualizes the adventures and metamorphoses of her many recurring characters, which include Long Hair Hobo, Rug Girl, Possum, and Klaus. She has had recent solo exhibitions in Los Angeles, New York, and London, and her work is in the public collections of the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, CA; and Museé de Beaux Arts, Montreal, Canada, among others.