Video Art Program[The 39th Program] McLean Fahnestock

Grand Finale, 2010-11, HD video, color, stereo sound, 3 min. 55 sec.

McLean Fahnestock’s film presents all 135 of the space shuttle launches that took place between 1981 and 2011, in a neatly ordered grid, on a single screen in a video lasting 3 minutes and 55 seconds.

The artist works by editing existing television or cinema footage. In this index-like presentation of the space shuttle launches, narratives associated with the space shuttle––the Cold War, the noble mission of the astronaut, the political and emotional implications of the vessel itself––have been minimized, and in their place we experience the colors and forms of the sheer spectacle: the vivid flames of blastoff explosions, the billowing smoke reminiscent of a mushroom cloud, the shuttle describing an arc across the sky. We get a fresh perspective unlike what we have been fed by the TV news.

McLean Fahnestock:
McLean Fahnestock was born in 1976 in Maryland, USA, and lives and works in Long Beach, California. She works in diverse media including video, sculpture, and installation. Fahnestock earned a BFA in sculpture from Middle Tennessee State University in 2004 and an MFA in sculpture from California State University Long Beach in 2008. Solo exhibitions include In the Offing at Torrance Art Museum (USA) and Space Agency at Harcourt House (Canada). She has also participated in numerous art festivals and film screenings.