Laura Heit Animates Ashland with AIFF, SOU and Science Works
“Animated installation is what I’ve been calling it,” explains Portland-based animation artist Laura Heit on “Oregon Art Beat” last year. She’s talking about Two Ways Down, an innovative animation-meets-art-installation project soon to be on display in Southern Oregon. This fascinating video is an insight into both Heit’s thoughts on her work and her actual installation process: she assembles a table and begins to set a complex series of delicate moving cut-outs and light sources so that the room comes alive with a disjointed but beautiful array of silhouettes in motion. We get a glimpse at her meticulous process of manipulating layers of animation until they become completely alive. The result is gorgeous and unnerving.
Adds Heit, “The installation is from this instant, this small moment inside of a catastrophe. If we could stop time for a second, what would that look like?”
Heit, whose work has previously graced the halls of MOMA and the Guggenheim, speaks to the beauty on the surface of her work and the darkness at its center. “There’s this great collision of all things orderly and organic, put together and reorganized in entirely new ways,” she says as ethereal disembodied limbs float along the walls amid buildings and vehicles in various states of array.
Heit will be in residence at the Schneider Museum of Art at Southern Oregon University, in collaboration with the fifteenth Ashland Independent Film Festival, from April 4-6 installing Two Ways Down. Heit’s piece is part of an eight-person multimedia show called In Scene which showcases work from multiple disciplines that explores the intersection of nature and modern times. A public reception opening the show will take place at the Schneider 5 – 7 pm on Wednesday, April 6, giving the public a chance to interact with Heit and her fellow artists. The show will run until June 11.
Heit will also have a new installation, Hypothetical Stars, on display at ScienceWorks Hands-On Museum from April 7-10, which features hand-drawn animation and her unique fascination with scale. Heit will perform at ScienceWorks on April 8 at 7:30 pm, including sharing animated shorts and one of her notorious “matchbox puppet shows,” which explores animation on a very small scale.