LAX comes to YYZ in this installation by Patty Chang and Noah Klersfeld. Originally created for the newly renovated Tom Bradley International Terminal at LAX, the Los Angeles international airport, this project turns the airport inside out, exposing the internecine workings of baggage transport systems.
In this iteration of the installation, two kaleidoscopic videos play one after the other. First, 16 screens show 16 different journeys on the conveyor belts from the check-in counters to the baggage sorters. The position of the camera puts the viewer in the place of the luggage, thus revealing a normally unseen world, but also taking the viewer on a barebones funhouse ride through the efficient and very blue interiors of the non-public side of the airport. Then the 16 screens simultaneously show the repeated image of a houseplant making that same journey. The comic homeliness of the houseplant, so out of place in this environment, speaks to the vulnerability of all things that travel, be they human or inanimate, as they are inspected, processed and transported through environments that range from rudimentary to luxurious. The untroubled journey of the houseplant also shows us how surprisingly gentle the massive system of conveyer belts can be. As Klersfeld puts it, "We wanted to pull back the curtain and give travelers a glimpse of the inner workings of this massive global transportation network in a personal way. A houseplant is a very distinct icon of domesticity. It's vulnerable but strong."
Patty Chang is well-known for her performative works which deal with themes
of gender, language and empathy. Working predominantly in video, Chang initially uses the medium to document her performances, often utilizing the camera's potential to misrepresent.
Noah Klersfeld has exhibited at The Museum of Contemporary Photography
(Chicago) and The Islip Art Museum (East Islip NY). His video Payroll has received awards from The Center on Contemporary Arts (Seattle WA) and the ASU Film and Video Festival (Tempe AZ).
Artist: Noah Klersfeld