Video Art Program[The 53rd Program] Rebecca Morrison


Once in a Lullaby, 2015, color, sound, 4min.17sec.

Once in a Lullaby, part of the series of video works Quartet, is primarily composed of scenes at an amusement park, capturing the unpretentious appearance and behavior of people enjoying the attractions, and the colorful, gaudy design of the environment reflecting the unsophisticated tastes of its intended occupants. Through their contrast with the overcast skies, and the tranquil stability of the images’ compositions, each subject vividly takes center stage. Music also plays a key role in Morrison’s work, and here a chorus singing Somewhere Over the Rainbow begins playing midway through the video, making a powerful impression. The figure of a man evidently conducting the chorus appears, and his animated facial expressions contrast with the listless look of the spectators as he leads the voices through the song. As applause dies away, the video concludes.
Morrison describes the video editing process as a “search for poetic resonance in the records of these gatherings” and a way of “discover[ing] irony, mystery, humor, and rhythm.” While adopting an analytical observer’s stance toward mass entertainment and the behavior of participants, Morrison imbues the entire video piece with an empathic sensitivity to the pleasures enjoyed by amusement park goers, binding the sequence of images together in a resonant chorus of sights and sounds.

Rebecca Morrison:
Born in Champaign Illinois in 1976; lives in Boston, Massachusetts. Morrison earned a BFA in photography and art history from Massachusetts College of Art and Design. In 2008 she was a founding member of Salon Nouveau Boston, where she served as Curator until 2010. From 2009 to 2013 she served as a lecturer in the Department of Art & Art History at New England College. Morrison is currently in the Master’s program in Media Arts (film/video) at Massachusetts College of Art and Design, and is active in diverse fields including as a video artist, photographer, art historian, and curator. Her series of video works Quartet, portraying people at public gatherings such as parades, community celebrations, concerts and theme parks, was presented in 2015.