Night Gallery is delighted to present a screening of Elise Rasmussen’s The Year Without a Summer, 2020. The video work is part of Rasmussen’s larger multimedia project of the same name, which also includes photographs and cyanotypes printed on silk. Rasmussen has been included in several exhibitions at Night Gallery, including 2018’s Blue State, and Night Gallery’s tenth anniversary exhibition in 2020. Concurrent with Night Gallery’s screening, the complete exhibition of The Year Without a Summer is currently on view at Gallery 44, Toronto, Canada.
Elise Rasmussen is a Los Angeles-based multimedia artist whose research-based practice weaves together disparate histories mediated through the artist’s subjective experience, drawing in her geographic and educational explorations. Photography is central to Rasmussen’s process, raising questions of documentation, preservation, and the perceptual slippages within what is enshrined as history. Journeying across the globe in search of the archival and the phenomenological, Rasmussen’s work reframes and reinvigorates the documented past, finding sublime points of convergence.
The Year Without a Summer originates in a study of the year 1816, when global weather patterns were disrupted by the eruption of the Indonesian volcano Mount Tambora. The cold, stormy weather that ensued earned the year the nickname “the year without a summer,” and while its consequences were vast – widespread economic downturn as a result of famine, and a subsequent increase in crime – the inexplicable change in climate contributed to the rise of several significant art movements across media. These include Romanticism, Sci-Fi, and Gothic literature, with particular emphasis on Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, widely held to be the first work of science fiction, written that year on Switzerland’s Lake Geneva. Rasmussen’s research indicates that the ruinous storms and violent social atmosphere of the Year Without a Summer deeply influenced Shelley’s seminal work. Travelling to both Lake Geneva and Mount Tambora herself, Rasmussen’s project compares the summer of 1816 to our present moment, drawing in our recent experience of collective shock in the face of the pandemic and the ongoing crisis of global warming. Within Rasmussen’s historically rigorous practice lies an inquiry into the mutability of perception and the unexpected dexterity of the imagination in a time of crisis.
Thank you La Becque Résidence d'Artistes and the Canada Council for the Arts for support with this project.
If you would like to attend the screening, kindly RSVP to email@example.com.
Elise Rasmussen has exhibited, performed and screened her work internationally including venues such as the Brooklyn Museum, New York; the Bronx Museum, New York; Pioneer Works, New York; Night Gallery, Los Angeles; Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, Germany; Sharjah Art Foundation, UAE; Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane, Australia; Dazibao Montreal, Canada; Doris McCarthy Gallery at the University of Toronto, Scarborough, Canada; and ESP | Erin Stump Projects, Toronto, Canada. Rasmussen received her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and has been an artist in residence at a number of institutions including the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, Ireland; the Nirox Foundation, South Africa; La Becque, Switzerland; LMCC, New York; Shandaken Projects at Storm King, New York; SOMA, Mexico City, Mexico; the Banff Centre, Alberta, Canada; and was a 2016 Fellow in the Art & Law Program, New York. She has been written about in publications such as Art in America, BOMB Magazine, Hyperallergic, Canadian Art and the New Inquiry, and has received grants and awards from the Jerome Foundation, the Canada Council for the Arts, NYFA/ NYSCA, Contact Photography Festival, and the American Austrian Foundation. Rasmussen is based in Los Angeles, CA.