The gallery is alive with the flicker of synchronized projections cast upon opposing walls. On a wavering horizon, the mast of a ship lightly sways, rocked by the fall and swell of gentle seas. Departing from Knut Hamsun’s novel Hunger, De Young and Westbrook’s installation opens upon the hallucinations and compulsions of a desire that is not longing but need. Cut by headlines pulled from Hamsun’s text — “passions quiver in every movement” and “one who travels alone has but shadow to talk to”— the two channel video follows a meandering arc, playing between open sea and island, city and an imagined dark. Audio by turns exuberant and pensive presses forward alongside the insistent rhythm of changing scenes, driving us deeper into the sea, the forest, and the drawings that render both.
Hunger [January 3 - February 3, 2018] is a collaborative animation and installation by Johannes De Young and Natalie Westbrook, designed for CRUSH Curatorial’s front gallery.
During the run of the exhibition, CRUSH Curatorial hosted two separate conversations with both collaborators. In January 2018, Johannes De Young and his colleague from the Yale School of Art, Sam Messer, spoke on the topics of Hunger and of other recent projects including De Young’s contribution to the B3 Biennale and Messer’s show at the Wadsworth Atheneum. Later the same month, Natalie Westbrook discussed her practice with Rosalind Tallmadge and Svetlana Rabey, two artists with whom Westbrook has been in dialogue at different stages of her artistic development. Excerpted and full transcripts of these conversations are now available online: Johannes De Young // Sam Messer and Natalie Westbrook // Rosemarie Tallmadge // Svetlana Rabey.