CMA invited New York-based artist Lucy Raven (American, born 1977) to organize a show drawn from our collections. In her work, Raven combines animation, photography, and sound to investigate industrial systems and image production. For this exhibition, the artist was inspired by works in the Photo League Collection, the Philip J. and Suzanne Schiller Collection of American Social Commentary Art, 1930 – 1970, and the Museum’s archive that similarly focus on labor and vision. "The selections foreground connections between the hand and the eye,” says Raven. “And many of the images suggest the potential of relief in and from the workplace.”
In conjunction with the installation, the Museum will present two video works and an illustrated lecture by Raven. China Town (2009) consists of thousands of still photographs and ambient sounds that trace copper mining and production from an open pit mine in Nevada to a smelter in China. The film follows the detailed process that transforms raw ore into copper wire. In Curtains (2014), a series of ten stereoscopic photographs are split into the red and blue panes of anaglyph 3D glasses, which are worn while watching the piece. Each image depicts the painstaking, frame-by-frame process of creating visual effects for 21st-century Hollywood cinema; its global assembly lines run from Los Angeles through Bombay, Beijing, London, Vancouver and Toronto. Low Relief, a 40 minute long illustrated lecture, connects research into bas-relief sculpture in both India and the United States to the illusion of depth created in stereoscopic 3D films, and the globally-connected, labor-intensive processes of post-production involved.