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"S-T-R-E-T-C-H-I-N-G: A Spiritual Journey"
1999-09-25 until 2000-01-02
California Museum of Photography
USA United States of America
Marsia Alexander-Clarke's video installation examines issues concerning health, selfhood and the future of a family genetically linked to serious illness. This penetrating work combines projected images of wife and mother, Jan Roberts, with videotaped interviews of four of Roberts' family members, images of four sections of a woman's body (head, chest, pelvis and legs) and flowing water and text from the Book of Job. The interviews are synched to juxtapose statements that are both enlightening and troubling as the family members describe their admiration for their mother or wife's courage as well as their own fear and pain as they come to terms with the implications of Roberts' contraction of the neurological and inherited degenerative disease, Huntington's Disease. A combined video/sculpture involving nine monitors and one projected image, S-T-R-E-T-C-H-I-N-G explores the complexity of an identity founded upon disease; it examines the ways in which Roberts has been denied a stand on the middle ground in the stream between life and death. The adult children, lamentably all manifesting the genetic link to Huntington's Disease, discuss their mortality, their fears for their mother and for themselves, and the specific meaning of Huntington's Disease in their daily lives. S-T-R-E-T-C-H-I-N-G explores the complex beauty seen in lives lived in the face of serious illness or death.