Johnson façade projections continue with ‘Lids and Straws’

The Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art‘s series of outdoor façade projections continues with a work by renowned artist and composer Christian Marclay.

“Lids and Straws (One Minute)” opened Nov. 7 and runs through Nov. 24; the animation is projected on the east side of the museum, from sunset to midnight.

The work is part of a series of six silent animations collaged together from thousands of still photographs that Marclay takes on his daily walks through London. Each animation highlights particular, commonly discarded objects, such as cigarette butts, bottle caps, chewing gum or – in this case – plastic lids and straws.

Edited together and sequenced like flip-books, Marclay’s short pieces are reminiscent of early cinema’s devices that produce the animated illusion of motion, in which burnt cigarettes grow back and wads of chewing gum divide and multiply like cells.

In “Lids and Straws (One Minute),” brightly colored straws rotate across monochromatic lids like a second hand across a clockface, one straw for each second. When one animation from this group was projected throughout Times Square in New York City as part of its Midnight Moment series, Marclay noted that “the sidewalk trash” was being shown “blown up in scale, where it came from.”

Not only does Marclay transform trash into visual poetry in these seemingly unassuming works, but in “Lids and Straws (One Minute)” he also makes the viewer hyperaware of time, which is especially resonant in these days of social distancing and quarantine.

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