Ebb by Amy Jenkins

BOMB 61 Fall 1997
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61 Jenkins 01 Body

Amy Jenkins, Pocket, 1997, rear view projection on miniature shirt, hardware: Fujix Mini Video Projector, VCR, 17 × 18½ inches (object size only), running time: 2½ minutes. Courtesy Anna Kustera Gallery.

Fascination with mysteries of the flesh is an ageless phenomenon. As a kid I faked my first period in hopes of kickstarting the reoccurring ritual. I picked red berries from the yard, smeared them in my underpants, sat on the toilet and moaned, calling my baby-sitter to the bathroom as witness. I figured if I made it real to her, it would become real.

61 Jenkins 02 Body

Amy Jenkins, Ebb, 1997, top view, video projection on ceramic bathtub and tiled pedestal, hardware: Sony LCD Projector, VCR, 14 × 20½ x 26½ inches (object including pedestal), running time: 4 minutes. Courtesy Anna Kustera Gallery.

What better way to learn about something than by playing pretend. We all have the desire to know certain secrets. How is it, to enter another’s body, to explore a person’s insides? What would it be like to lose one’s virginity again, to open one-self up like a door to a hidden room, or to be the first one entering that room?

Video installation is like alchemy. By combining video projection, sculpture, and audio, I can turn miniature replicas of a tub, a toilet, a shirt, or a bed into three dimensional environments where video personas animate the objects and enact metaphorical and psychological dramas. I have always wished for magical powers. This is the closest I’ve ever come to making “let’s pretend” loop endlessly.

61 Jenkins 03 Body

Amy Jenkins, Ebb, 1997, side view, video projection on ceramic bathtub and tiled pedestal, hardware: Sony LCD Projector, VCR, 14 × 20½ x 26½ inches (object including pedestal, running time: 4 minutes. Courtesy Anna Kustera Gallery.

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Originally published in

BOMB 61, Fall 1997

Featuring interviews with Gregory Crewdson, Lorna Simpson, Allan Gurganus, Louis Auchincloss, Marie Howe, Rilla Askew, Rupert Graves, Andrew Blanco, and Paula Vogel.

Read the issue
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