kristine woods
  studio recent

Action Overlook (in collaboration with Gymnasium). Mixed-media, video. 2001-2.

Spectator is a noun. Watching is an activity.

In 2001, when I made Action Overlook, I—along with everyone I knew and probably everyone in the world—watched those planes fly into those buildings, over and over again. That winter, I spent a lot of time skating at the Michigan Avenue ice rink in Chicago, not far from my studio. I thought about what it meant to be part of a culture that seeks pleasure in activities predicated on instability: ice skating, roller coasters, skate boarding, mountain climbing, etc.

Action Overlook was the work of a collaborative called Gymnasium, named after the ancient Greek word describing a place to wrestle naked. The installation consists of several pieces. A small set of bleachers—5' x 5'—were built on casters, so they could move. These were filmed at the ice rink. In the installation, the footage of the bleachers-on-ice played on a high-mounted monitor, looking over the exhibition space. The small bleachers were subsequently crated, like an art object, and were placed behind another set of 10'x10' bleachers that faced out the window, their back turned on the exhibition.