Lookout Walter Maciel Gallery, Los Angeles January 6 - March 2, 2024
In support of the paintings, the exhibition includes a two-channel video installation entitled Lookout produced in collaboration with writer, Katy Dang, former editor of Idaho Arts Quarterly magazine. The video features different perspectives of a 1982 Mercedes-Benz 300D sedan as it makes its way through the winter landscape beyond the edge of urban development in Idaho starting at the bottom of Swan Falls Gorge and continuing through the high desert flats and further up to the snowy woods of the Sawtooth Mountain Range. As the car navigates the various terrains, multiple perspectives are explored from both inside and outside of the car. The two videos are projected next to each other providing simultaneous viewpoints of what is to come and what is in the past. Much like the duality that exists within Innis’s painting, Lookout echoes the drama of contrasting the beauty and freedom of the open spaces with the perilous and rugged landscape, contemplating what lies ahead and what follows behind. The video explores the significance of the journey, familiarity of place, isolation and a physical and psychological passage within Idaho. Innis’s reflections are personal and draw on her memories of living in Boise as well as her childhood travels from San Diego to the Eastern Sierra in her aunt Ona’s Mercedes. Further reflections of capturing the instantaneous moments while looking into a rearview mirror or out of a window from a moving car are recorded with flashes of the quiet and limitless expanse where gulch, desert and mountain converge on the lonesome road.
Lookout Sometimes, something that you have seen countless times strikes you in a different way. You never know quite why that happens, but it is worth taking time to note and explore that new response. Inspired by the epic opening shots of The Shining, Cynthia Ona Innis responded to the memories that arose by delving into a different medium to express her vision. Drawing on a friendship with uniquely shared memories, Innis found the vehicle that encased her memories of childhood road trips with her Aunt Ona which took them up and down the eastern side of the Sierra Mountains, and back and forth across the country. These journeys on long old lonesome roads harken back to a time of open space and vast views before the ever-increasing encroachment of More: more development, more cars, more demands on attention, more immediacy. The forward motion of every life and any voyage belies the multiple perspectives inherent in the spaces we inhabit. There are the views we take in—by necessity or choice--glancing or gazing, facing forward or staring sideways. Then, there is the view to the rear, showing what is already being left behind in the constant progression; but is where you have been ever really behind you? The past and the memories it contains remain just out of sight until you focus in that direction. As we proceed ever onward, inevitability moving ahead, we encompass all of these visions and views and all of the experiences contained within. What we notice, what we remember, what we communicate and what we retain depends on where we choose to focus at that particular moment in time.
-Katy Dang, January 2024
Lookout Running time 9:16
Lookout Crew Katy Dang: Collaboration & Driver Nathan Dang: Cinematography Steve Rogers: Chief Drone Pilot Joey Braun: Director of Drone Cinematography