Pasadena Museum of California Art Announces Alex Kritselis: Above the Fold

The Pasadena Museum of California Art presents Alex Kritselis: Above the Fold on view September 18, 2011 – January 8, 2012.

The Pasadena Museum of California Art (PMCA) is pleased to announce Above the Fold, an installation by artist Alex Kritselis that examines the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Previously installed at the Armory Center for the Arts in 2002, the work has been re-imagined for the PMCA Back Gallery to commemorate the tenth anniversary of September 11. The immersive installation poses new questions about the lingering effects of the attack on our national psyche while simultaneously providing a space for reflection and contemplation.

Alex Kritselis Above the Fold (stills), 2002. Mixed media and video installation

The title, Above the Fold, refers to the most prominent space on the front page of a newspaper, which is reserved for those news items deemed most valuable and important because it is the first section of the paper that the reader sees. The most prominent element of the installation is a “landscape” comprised of a complete set of all 365 Los Angeles Times editions printed between September 12, 2001 and September 11, 2002, which is folded on the gallery floor displaying that “above the fold” section of the paper. By examining what news items and headlines followed the traumatic events of September 11, the artist creates a dialogue about mortality, the body politic, and mass media that remains as relevant today as when it was first conceived ten years prior.

All editions are unread and shielded in UV protective plastic, which reflects light in such a way as to suggest a watery surface. Metal bleachers will allow the visitor to survey the landscape from a higher position, alluding to the experience visitors have at Ground Zero as they gaze into the giant concave space. A double video projection above the newspapers plays in three segments: a black and white video of an open-heart surgery in progress transitions into two vertical tower-like rectangular shapes surrounded by water for the second segment. In the final part of the video, the two towers dissolve into the surrounding water while rose petals float on its surface. The accompanying audio track of a low frequency heartbeat suffuses the room with a discordant feeling of both reassurance and dread.

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