Marfa Dialogues

Erika Blumenfeld

January 29 - April 10, 2005


Erika Blumenfeld
Lunation 1011
Opening reception: Saturday, January 29, 6-8PM
January 29 – April 10, 2005

In September and October of 2004, visual artist Erika Blumenfeld came to Marfa, Texas as Ballroom’s inaugural artist-in-residence. Through the generosity and non-financial support of the McDonald Observatory, Blumenfeld was granted the rare opportunity to work in an astronomer’s house at the Observatory’s main peak. During her two-month stay, Blumenfeld created the video work Moving Light: Lunation 1011.

“Lunation” is commonly defined as the time between consecutive new moons, and Blumenfeld’s piece explores the waxing and waning moonlight of a single 30-day lunation period between September 14-October 13, 2004. Recorded through an altered telescope and self-built recording devices, Blumenfeld documented the varying intensities of light radiating from the moon onto handheld photographic film. The resulting images portray not only the changing quantity of moonlight in its nightly phase, but also the artists own hand which, in holding each piece of film over the long two-minute exposures, moved slightly from her own heartbeat and body’s subtle sway. The relationship between technology and the human implementing it is expressed in the completed video installation, where each of the exposures taken over the 30 days were animated in sequence to produce a moving account of the lunar cycle.

Erika Blumenfeld is an internationally exhibiting artist originally from the Boston area. After studying at Parsons School of Design in New York and La Sorbonne in Paris, Blumenfeld relocated to Santa Fe, New Mexico, where she has worked since 1994. In 1998, she developed a process by which she reduces photography down to its most essential ingredients: light and light sensitive material. The presentation at the Ballroom marks the first solo exhibition of her video work.