"Perspective" by Eric Rieger
"Perspective" by Eric Rieger

Eric Rieger ’07, who works under the name HOTTEA, has created an installation with woven yarn and stencils that references Jasper Johns’s Flags painting.

The installation, titled Perspective, speaks to Rieger’s experience of observing Johns’s painting for the first time, reflecting on how our perspective grows and sometimes changes as we grow older. When he first encountered the piece, Rieger was impressed by the optical illusion in which the viewer's eyes take in the colors from the top flag and project an inverse image when moved to the lighter flag. However, Flags now represents a much more conceptual experience for Rieger, with the optical illusion serving to hide the obvious in plain sight behind the American flag facade.

The conceptual aspect of the imagery pairs with the significance of the installation's location in Sleepy Eye, Minnesota. Chief Sleepy Eyes and his band, known as the Swan Lake or Little Rock Band, hunted in southwestern Minnesota and southeastern Dakota until forced to move to reservation land near the Minnesota River in the wake of the 1857 Spirit Lake Massacre. In the video documentation, Rieger concludes the piece with the performative act of cutting through the yarn.

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