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Past Exhibitions

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Young Americans: Video Installation

Mar 19 – Aug 30 2009

Seattle Art Museum

Forum Gallery

Mary Simpson and Fionn Meade, Northwest artists currently residing in New York, have collaborated on several films in recent years. Young Americans is one of their latest works, filmed primarily at the Home of the Good Shepherd, originally a residential institution for "orphaned and wayward girls" that was built in Seattle in 1907.

Alternating between pensive shots within the empty building, and frenetic but cryptic passages in which a group re-enacts archaic games, the film maintains a provocative mystery through its fragmentation. Narrative clarity is withheld from the viewer but also from the actors as internal struggles for control of the rules and storylines mirror contemporary society’s increasingly fractured interpretation of daily events. Young Americans finds a poetic visual analog to this condition, suggesting that consequently we may all be, in a sense, orphaned and wayward.

Seattle Art Museum acknowledges that we are on the traditional homelands of the Duwamish and the customary territories of the Suquamish and Muckleshoot Peoples. As a cultural and educational institution, we honor our ongoing connection to these communities past, present, and future. We also acknowledge the urban Native peoples from many Nations who call Seattle their home.

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