Is there anyone who has seen the video artist Doug Aikten’s 2007 Creative Time/MoMA public installation “Sleepwalkers” [trailer above] and enjoyed that experience? Certainly, I didn’t, so I’m finding it hard to get excited about the artist’s latest celebrity driven project. This time around the artist creates “Frontier,” a collaboration with mega artist Ed Ruscha on a small Roman Island. Aikten ditches the ultimate art cliché of the non-linear narrative he used at MoMA for a narrative-based feature, which is probably a step in the right direction. Still, I can’t help but feel a little suspicious about artists who seem to have as much figured out as he does. As he describes his project to The Art Newspaper,
“At the core of the work is a cinematic installation: a narrative film expanded to show on multiple screens in a site-specific structure. The film revolves around a protagonist, played by Ruscha as a solitary individual who moves through a city, from day into night, while the surrounding world undergoes a revolutionary change. In the work, he is carried through a series of seemingly everyday situations in a minimal landscape. These situations progress from insignificant moments to a series of more poignant encounters involving increasing numbers of people that eventually takes him to a gathering protest.”
Is it wrong to say this narrative reminds me of Shirin Neshat?