Running Man Installation Turns Guardhouse into Magic Lantern @ The Wende

The weather on Sunday, Sept. 29 was almost cloudless, so bright in the garden of the Wende Museum that seeing the projections on the new installation required getting close up. The Wende’s Joes Segal, making the presentation for the exhibit, said that “It’s delightfully ironic that something that used to make people stop is now called “Running Man.”

The guardhouse that once policed visitors to the East German News Agency, ADN, had been rescued from destruction and toured as an art installation with many different iterations. The current artwork in the garden at the Wende begins yet another life for the small but significant structure.

From the exhibit, “Running Man transforms the former guardhouse in the Wende garden from a symbol of surveillance and oppression into a magic lantern where disparate histories merge, intermingle, and collide. Orlovski occupies the guardhouse with three projected stop-motion animations that explore themes of loss, memory, and migration. Drawing on the structure’s Cold War past and its current proximity to Sony Pictures Studios, the work references Russian children’s books, Soviet-era animation, Malevich’s Suprematism, Hans Richter’s experimental films, and Eadweard Muybridge’s early motion pictures”

When Stas Orlovski spoke about creating the projections, he noted that he was particularly pleased about it being in Culver City, “right across the street from Sony, the old MGM studio; it’s right here with the history of these moving images, where film was created.”

The museum keeps later hours on Friday evenings, and perhaps the best time to view the installation would be after twilight, when the light inside the guardhouse will bring a crisp sense of clarity to the “Running Man.”

Judith Martin-Straw

Photo caption – Stas Orlovski speaks to the event in the garden at the Wende

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