Andrew Freedman Home
1125 Grand Concourse, Bronx
March – May, 2014 (extended twice)
The Electra Project is a site specific video installation exploring the realm where theater, film and art converge. Hwalan is focused on the way art actively invites the imagination of the viewer into the world of the work. The piece undertakes all the senses: sound, light, the smell of old books, the tactility of antique furniture. The work combines an old library as a remnant from a gilded era, video and two female Korean born actors, one of whom is the artist.
The shooting process was essential to the work. Two actors faced each other during taping and enacted a scene from Mourning Becomes Electra by Eugene O’Neill as two cameras recorded each actor. Their responses were recorded at the moment each responded to the other. The active space between two actors, normally experienced in theater, was thus captured.
Eugene O’Neill was one of the leading dramatists of the first half of the twentieth century. In Mourning Becomes Electra, he re-imagined Greek tragedy in contemporary terms. This particular scene is set in the library of a mansion during the Civil War. The Freedman Home library becomes a character in the scene and embodies an actual history that is distinctly different from an artificially created set design.
So in this installation, different eras and cultures are juxtaposed. The work investigates presence, absence, time and relationships. These are embodied by the library in a mansion built in The Roaring Twenties, the very different cultural and economic situation in the Bronx right now, two Korean born women playing a scene taking place during the Civil War and the person standing in the room.
Permission to use this scene in the Electra project has been granted by ICM Partners.