New York artist T.J. Wilcox filmed a panoramic scene over the course of one day from his studio roof in Lower Manhattan. Then he sped the whole thing up, compressed the hours—dawn-to-sunset—into one 30-minute span.
Now he's got a video installation at the Whitney Museum, one that The New York Times hails as "an ode to New York and to film, and to their mutually enhancing entwining."
The day is not the only thing that's sped up in Wilcox's presentation. There's also the century or so the artist bridges between the late-1800s "cinema in-the-round" panoramas, to which the artist pays direct tribute, and the 2013 that his bird's-eye film depicts. As The New York Times's Roberta Smith details, it's a hazy glimpse of the distant past, fed through black-and-white vignettes:
Superimposed on the panorama are six short cameo-films—in a way, details—that pull us from one place or era, one event or personality to another, across varying film methods, between color and black and white. The cameos appear one at a time on different parts of the screen, each with its own title, forming a carefully linked loop of narratives.
"I became really interested in this idea that I was seeing the view in the present tense [...] but that I was also looking across time," Wilcox explains in a video account of his project. Which is to say: his exhibit is a call to narrow in on individual locations in the city and consider their personal and historical significances, their resonances both past and present. But it's still a means of taking in the view as a whole, a sense of the city as one vast world "as opposed to the sort of piecemeal way I normally experience it."
Below, some images from the exhibit, courtesy of the Whitney.
Photos: T. J. Wilcox, stills from In the Air, 2013. Six-channel panoramic video installation, black-and-white and color, silent. Collection of the artist; courtesy Metro Pictures. Image courtesy the artist.