Tonight, Ethan Allen Nights opens in The Gallery at Burlington College. An opening reception begins at 5 p.m. and includes the artist talking about her work. The show runs from January 29 to February 28, 2014.
The name “Ethan Allen” crops up a lot in Vermont, from the furniture chain to brunch specials to the Amtrak line. Most recently, local experimental artist Rebecca Weisman created a bizarre and original new reference point for Vermont’s Revolutionary War hero with her surrealist installation at the Gallery at Burlington College. Titled “Ethan Allen Nights” and based on a play by Burlington psychotherapist C. Wright Cronin, the multimedia installation uses sound, video, sculpture and performance to create an imaginary reenactment of the night Allen stormed Fort Ticonderoga with the Green Mountain Boys (considered by historians to be a turning point in the war.)
In Weisman and Cronin’s interpretation, Allen and his first wife, Mary, write invisible hate letters to one another whilst being consumed by “parallel but divergent” psychoses — he succumbing to violence at the behest of spirits, she slowly turning to stone. Visitors to the exhibit can view the video in three locations throughout the gallery: one located in a dangling canoe, one in a sculptural pile of rocks, and one with a traditional projector.
Rebecca Weisman’s experimental multi-media practice uses video, sound, performance, and installation grounded firmly in discourses of critical theory to create rigorously conceptual as well as viscerally pleasurable experiences that call into question issues of subjectivity, the body, language, systems of power, and environment(s). Her work examines subconscious and psychological spaces in order to challenge notions about the stability of personal identity, “Nature”, and time, often asking the viewer to travel on a journey where the need for literal meaning is temporarily suspended and the internal logic of the self or site is allowed to emerge from hiding.
Placing text and electronics in an environment, her work examines how that environment is altered or mediated by these representative technologies, and how meaning is created or dismantled. Weisman lives and works in Vermont, a site that offers a fluid context in which to investigate boundaries—between self, nature, and others-- and how technology renders these boundaries permeable and transgressible.
Rebecca Weisman Bio
Weisman uses many mediums/media in site-specific installations and films, often self-producing shows in unlikely venues and locations: the Oregon desert, vacant urban buildings, a Vermont mountaintop, her home. She has shown work nationally and internationally, most recently Misbookings, an intervention performed at the Deleuze, Guattari, and the Arts conference at King’s College, Ontario, Excavations, a site-specific sound and architectural projection at the Design Center, Goddard College, and Ethan Allen Nights, a film and sculptural installation at McCarthy Art Center, Saint Michael’s College.
She has published articles in Namarupa magazine and C Magazine, and in 2014 will present a paper on “Dark Ecology and the Abject” at the International Zizek Studies conference, Cincinnati. She holds a BA in Studio Art from Reed College and an MFA in Interdisciplinary Art from Goddard College and currently teaches courses in Experimental Film, Video Art, Installation, and Art History at Saint Michael’s College and Burlington College.