Holly Andres, Grace Carter, Gerd Aurell at Missoula Art Museum

Video Artists Holly Andres, Grace Carter, and Gerd Aurell
Missoula Art Museum
March 16 – May 29, 2011

Holly Andres and Grace Carter
Missoula Art Museum screens two video artworks in the Goldberg Library, to reacquaint visitors with ideas about video art. The videos presented, Holly Andres and Grace Carter’s Dandelion, and Gerd Aurell’s Montana is a Harsh Mistress, each tells a painful story but use different means of expression.

Andres and Carter have crafted a beautifully melancholy short film that discusses the deaths of their mothers, accompanied by a soundscape of haunting background music and stream of conscious voice-over. It is impossible to not be moved by the heartbreaking imagery in this lovely film.

Aurell, a Swedish artist that traveled across Montana in 2000, uses stark black and white drawings and text to tell a bittersweet tale of the Montana homesteading experience. Aurell was deeply moved by the plains and prairies of eastern Montana, and struck by the hardscrabble history of the dry land farmers who worked the land. She became enamored by one farmer’s almost fatal love of the landscape, documented in the book Montana’s Homestead Era, and created this series of unpretentious pen-and-ink drawings about the doomed affair.

These two intimate and intelligent explorations show that video does not have to be full of Hollywood bombast and spectacle to create a moving, thoughtful experience.