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This photographic and two-channel video installation documents a short performance. In it, the artist employs a simple means of producing illusions in order to shape-shift and engage with alter egos in dramatic, sometimes humorous ways.

 

For her performance, Sawyer attaches pieces of cardboard and plastic to her body, effectively turning herself into a life-sized shadow puppet. The characters whose silhouettes are cast on the wall – dinosaur, warrior princess, old woman, and wolf – are a visually jarring contrast to the body of the artist positioned before them. The shadows, which are reminiscent of Ray Harryhausen animations, seem to engage in a dialogue with the artist, giving the impression that they are independently animated. Blurring the boundaries of what is real and what is a trick of the light, Shadow Puppet addresses the successes and failures of the artistic process committed to improvisation.

 

Visitors were invited to create their own shadow puppets in the projector beam provided.

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