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Nine Moments Online

Pamela Ambrose, director of cultural affairs at Loyola University Museum of Art (LUMA) met artists David Hodge (b. 1955) and Hi-Jin Hodge (b. 1974) in the fall of 2006. The married artists had arrived at LUMA to exhibit an audio-visual installation entitled “Impermanence,” setting a circle of sixteen video iPods that simultaneously played sounds and images of over a hundred people discussing the meaning of change. Ambrose was struck by the work’s powerful exploration and the manifestation of its hypnotic sound. Each person interviewed for the work reflected on life and death differently and a picture of human contemplation was drawn. The artists stated: “In our work, we pose questions that probe individual hopes and resolutions. We hear the conversation of humanity striving for the comfort of permanence, all while recognizing that everything constantly changes around them.” (Artist’s Statement, www.davidandhijin.com)
Currently LUMA is presenting an online exhibition of nine video works created by the Hodges. In “Closer by the Minute” the artists employ digital technology coupled with meditative methods and through careful observations address issues of interpersonal, metaphysical and public interests. Specific themes portray a meditative study of the ocean, an exploration of what people leave behind when life ends, and personal stories of couples, how they met, fell in love, and the relationships they formed. In “7 Days With Clifford,” the viewer meets Clifford—the artists’ neighbor—who tells seven stories in seven days, revealing a far more complex and interesting life than one ever imagined. The most recent piece is a video featuring the remarkable story of the city of Niagara Falls, New York, devastated by pollution and job loss. The exhibition interweaves speckled perspectives to tell compelling stories about life and change. Minute by minute, the artists surprise the viewers through thought-provoking editorial content and innovative digital treatment.
While interviewing Pamela Ambrose, I learned that the exhibition was initially going to be installed at the museum as a nine-segment installation, but since the works were all videos, she decided that the best way to ensure that people viewed the workszxx.. was to present it online. In her introduction to the exhibition Ambrose wrote: “Our lives are contained in the parentheses of birth and death, but the natural forces of this universe are a counterpoint to the short time we spend on earth. In many ways, “Closer by the Minute” is a collective mnemonic account of where we stand today, both as individuals and as a society, trying to live in the moment. During the past four years, I have seen this project expand from a single work to nine interrelated videos and I am grateful to David and Hi-Jin Hodge and all those who participated in the interviews for allowing LUMA to bring this exhibition to Chicago.”

“Closer by the Minute” continues through September, and it can be viewed at http://luc.edu/closerbytheminute. Additionally, through October 28, LUMA is showing an on-site exhibition entitled “David & Hi-Jin Hodge: Who’s Counting and Temporal State of Being,” showing photographs that look at the number of items that the artists have in their home—everything from teaspoons in a kitchen drawer to pillows on the bed.

Published: August 19, 2012
Issue: Fall 2012 Issue