Leslie Thornton’s series Binocular Menagerie appears as part of Between Species at UVP Everson from February 11 – March 26, 2016.

About the Work
Total Run Time: 2:50

In Binocular Menagerie, Thornton plays with vision, perception and transformation. A series of images of animals—a virtual menagerie of birds, reptiles and mammals—is framed within a format of two circular windows. Each animal’s movements on the left are remapped into an elegant abstraction on the right, transforming the “real” into a digital kaleidoscope. In this unexpectedly profound meditation on the minutiae of perception, the smallest shift in the animal’s movement ripples into resonant motion, multiplied, recast, and folded back upon itself. Thornton’s manipulations intensify the viewer’s focus, offering revelatory ways of seeing and perceiving the ordinary that are both strange and beautiful.

Binocular Menagerie premiered as part of the 2014 Midnight Moment Series, a project of Times Square Arts and Times Square Alliance, in which an artist’s work takes over the giant LED billboards in the heart of New York’s Times Square every night for a month, just before midnight.

States Thornton, “In Binocular Menagerie, I wanted to create an exotic environment of ‘almost-nature’ for Times Square, in which there is co-habitation of animal, machine, architecture and man. I thought of multiple King Kongs, both horrible and sublime at the same time, and I thought of taking over this whole visual field with small revelations.”

–text from the Electronic Arts Intermix

Binocular Menagerie was created under the auspices of Times Square Arts and Winkleman NYC.


About the Artist

Refracted through archival material, texts, found footage and dense soundtracks, Leslie Thornton’s rigorously experimental film and video work is an investigation into the production of meaning through media. Her epic project Peggy and Fred in Hell is an ongoing cycle of interrelated films, videos and installation environments. Exploring the aesthetics of narrative form as well as the politics of the image, Thornton forges a unique and strangely beautiful syntax, one that poses its critique at the same time that it mesmerizes and confounds.

For more information: winkleman.com/artists

Return to Between Species: group show