"People say that the savage no longer exists in us, that we are at the fag-end of civilization, that everything has been said already, and that it is too late to be ambitious. But these philosophers have presumably forgotten the movies. They have never seen the savages of the twentieth century watching the pictures."
Virginia Woolf, 1926
Maria Marshall's second solo show at Team, following up on last season's hugely successful debut, is made up of three new laserdisc projections. The three films, each running under two minutes, rely heavily on their locations: a padded cell, a large bathtub and a schoolyard. This stands in marked contrast to her densely montaged films which exist almost exclusively in the realm of the close-up.
In this body of work, Marshall uses a wide range of filmic techniques including zoom shots, focus pulls, edits, iris-outs, and digital special effects. Different types of cameras, filmstocks and speeds also help to make each work feel distinct, creating a psychological space for Marshall's continuing exploration of her roles as both mother and artist and for her struggle to use a temporal medium in a white-cube environment. The camera originals for the three films are in different formats-35mm, super 16mm and 8mm-depending on the artist's goals for that particular piece. These formats effect the feel of the Hollywood film, the color documentary or the home movie. One of the works is silent; one uses sound effects; the other is narrated.
Don't let the T-Rex get the children. begins as a close-up of the licking tongue of Marshall's three year old son. The camera slowly pulls back, investigating the boy's face, eventually revealing the space in which he is located. In an uncanny way, the boy appears to change age, to shift from child to adult, to vacillate between an embryonic state and death itself. The idea of passage represented in this piece was also the genesis for I did like being born, I put my wings open, then I flied., in which the boy floats in water, sometimes slipping underneath the surface. His mother, as editor, repeatedly forces him back under, not only denying him breath but arresting the ravages of time. Once up on. focuses on a children's playground photographed from a dutch angle. Once digitized, Marshall removed the frames that did not include people, and then distorted the speed of the action. The recorded events, which include children's games and the occasional beating, race by while voice-over narration recounts a militarized, discordant reinterpretation of The Three Little Pigs.