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OculusSinister_1 OculusSinister_2 OculusSinister_3

Artist: Jennifer Steinkamp
Oculus Sinister (left eye)
   size variable, approximately 10 foot diameter x 8 feet high.
Image Credit:
John Houck, courtesy ACME., Los Angeles, greengrassi, London, and Lehmann Maupin, New York.
Exhibition History: 

  1. Art | Basel | Miami Beach 2007, Miami, Florida, Lehmann Maupin, New York, December 6 - 9, 2007.
  2. California Video, The Getty, Los Angeles, CA, curated by Glenn Phillips, March 15 - June 8, 2008.

Description: Oculus Sinister (left eye), was a commission created for the Getty exhibition titled California Video, it utilized volcanic imagery to transform an oculus architectural detail. The installation consisted of video projected into an oculus of the Richard Meier designed building. Oculus is translated from Latin meaning eye; and an oculus detail in architecture refers to an eye of god. I considered this quite a challenge to create an artwork depicting an eye of god. I first considered the Getty Villa in Malibu being a recreation of the Villa of the Papyri in Herculaneum; this was a library that was covered over with 60 feet of lava in 79 AD when Mount Vesuvius famously erupted destroying Pompeii and the surrounding area. I created pyroclastic imagery, (hot volcanic mud and steam) pouring out of the eye of the oculus. I struggled over what might represent a God's point of view; perhaps it might stretch over time and space; I ended up creating a reference to two millennia and a span half way across the globe between Italy and California.