Shana Moulton: Green Screen Glorious Cure

  "Of all the changes of language a traveler in distant lands must face, none equals that which awaits him in the city of Hypatia, because the change regards not words, but things. I entered Hypatia one morning, a magnolia garden was reflected in blue lagoons, I walked among the hedges, sure I would discover young and beautiful ladies bathing; but at the bottom of the water, crabs were biting the eyes of the suicides, stones tied around their necks, their hair green with seaweed."  - Italo Calvino, Cities and Signs 4, Invisible Cities

Hypatia, a Neoplatonist mathematician, inventor and philosopher b. 370 AD) was the librarian of the Alexandria Library in Egypt. She was murdered by Christian fanatics led by the patriarch Cyril in 415, on the pretext that her death would quell the Neoplatonic political and religious opposition to Christianity in the city. "The fanatics caught Hypatia on her way to the University. They proceeded to pull Hypatia from her chariot, strip her naked, drag her to the church, butcher her into pieces, and then burn her body." Her mathematical treatises, written for her students, survive in fragments.

Hypatia is reborn fragment by fragment in the Pharmakon LIbrary.  At the moment, in a rebirth of restless signs. Shana Moulton changes them up in her new video, Restless Leg (2012). Logos used to mean 'word', now it may mean nothing more than a sign for a brand. Shana Moulton's alter-ego dreams of a cure...

To the Pharmakon Library, Shana offers two image composites. The first she compiled from commercial and non-profit marketing logos that associate women's wellness and potential life-enhancements with geometries of flow and a recreational palette; she first published these fragments as a suite for the IMG_MGMT series on ArtFagCity.

images courtesy Shana Moulton

The second is a trio of video stills from Restless Leg Saga (2012). Shana Moulton's video (together with a video  from her "Whispering Pines" suite of 2006), appears within the exhibition "Disoriented Orientation / Oriented Disorientation" at Wharton+Espinoza through January 4, 2013. 

Shana Moulton's 'cure' takes animation to the invisible city of Hypatia. The suicides' green eyes, from the bottom of the lagoon, emblazon a green screen, or is it algae, coating the surface of the azure.  At the surface of the lagoon, the green screen, laid like a blanket of life, warms the temperature of another room where Shana's alter ego waits in anxious desperation.  Animation becomes elemental.  The glorious body may appear.

Shana Moulton, installation view, Restless Leg Saga (left) and Whispering Pines (right) at Wharton+Espinoza, Los Angeles 2012. Images courtesy of Wharton+Espinoza.


Shana Moulton earned her BA from UC Berkeley in Art and Anthropology and her MFA from Carnegie Mellon University. Moulton has exhibited/performed at The New Museum, SF MOMA, MoMA P.S.1, Performa 2009, Electronic Arts Intermix, The Andy Warhol Museum, The Wexner Center for the Arts, Wiels Center for Contemporary Art (Brussels), The Migros Museum (Zurich), De Appel (Amsterdam), Kunstnernes Hus (Oslo), The Times Museum (Guangzhou), and The 29th Ljubljana Biennial.