Heiress Sarah Winchester and her Winchester Mystery House — the bizarre gothic mansion she built to defend herself from the ghosts of those killed by the rifles that made her family famous — are the inspiration for Jeremy Blake’s suite of digital animations, the Winchester trilogy. Employing hand-painted imagery, film footage, vector graphics, and sound in a process the artist calls “time-based painting” Blake’s visually opulent works offer an empathetic experience of Winchester’s madness. Representational images morph into kinetic inkblots and back again. Traditional modes of storytelling are questioned, as are the relationships between reality and simulation. Shown together for the first time, Winchester (2002), 1906 (2003), and Century 21 (2004) are presented as a triptych in three adjacent projections.
Jeremy Blake: Winchester is organized by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Support for this exhibition has been generously provided by the James Family Foundation.