Dead Star Light, Modern Art Oxford, 2011

This autumn, Modern Art Oxford presents a solo exhibition by American artist and filmmaker Kerry Tribe. Dead Star Light includes the artist’s most recent projects in her ongoing investigation into memory, forgetting, ambiguity and doubt.

Presenting three newly commissioned film, video and installation works, the exhibition brings to a close the 3 Series of commissions, organized by Modern Art Oxford in collaboration with Camden Arts Centre, London, and Arnolfini, Bristol. The 3 Series is a three-year collaborative commissioning programme to support the development and production of new work by three contemporary visual artists.

Dead Star Light consists of three new works: Milton Torres Sees a Ghost, Parnassius mnemosyne and The Last Soviet. Milton Torres Sees a Ghost is a room-sized sound installation in which reel-to-reel audio tape traces the gallery walls, endlessly playing and erasing a first hand account of the American fighter pilot’s encounter with a UFO over British airspace in the 1950s which was officially declassified in 2008. Parnassius mnemosyne is a 16mm-film installation featuring an enigmatic animation of the eponymous butterfly. Finally, The Last Soviet is a single-channel video combining original and appropriated footage to tell the true story of Sergei Krikalev, a Soviet cosmonaut who was left in orbit for nearly a year as the Soviet Union collapsed beneath him.

Together these works continue Tribe’s interest in producing large-scale projects in film, video and installation that carefully consider the possibilities their mediums afford and attempt to produce an experience for the viewer akin to the subject of the works: amnesia, misremembering, the gap between individual and collective memory. Employing ‘old’ technologies, including 16mm film, reel-to-reel audio and analog video, each work explores these themes of personal, cultural and collective memory, and conversely, processes of forgetting and erasure.

Related Works