It's purely coincidental that Rebecca Dolan's White, a four-channel video installation, happens to open at Rockhurst University's Greenlease Gallery just as we're acclimating to the short, dark days of approaching winter. The piece is meant to evoke what Dolan describes as "that time in spring when the white flowering trees are all in bloom and it's a two-week period of 'Wow!' and then, suddenly, it's gone."
Finding the images for White wasn't as easy as Dolan had expected. "You're looking for a tree, but there's always a car, a road, a brick building behind it," she says. Her ideal shot of a tree -- on a hill, with a clear horizon line -- didn't require a trip to the country, however. She found it in a corporate office park. "There's always something just outside the frame that I crop out," says Dolan, who further explores the illusion of nature with her tulips, which were growing outside Crown Center.
The dichotomies of White -- real and fake, male and female, past and present -- show up in Dolan's other work as a curator and professor. She's co-founder of Time:Base, the curatorial group devoted to interactive and time-based artwork, and she teaches photography and new-media classes at the Kansas City Art Institute, where her students are reading about topics that will be of interest to White's viewers: the difference between still and moving images, and the perception of speed. All of White's action takes place in one frame on a continuous loop without cutting so that it feels endless, Dolan says.
For sufferers of seasonal affective disorder, this may be the perfect antidote.