Samara Golden, The Fireplace, 2013 Review

ImageSamara Golden
The Fireplace, 2013
Three-channel video installation with sound
dimensions variable

The Golden Rule

We live in the age of information. With the rise of technology saturating nearly every facet of our lives, one work in The Museum of Contemporary Art’s “Room to Live” exhibition, Samara Golden’s The Fireplace, 2013, addresses and brings this phenomenon to light. The frenetic three-channel video installation houses items including make shift vintage 3D glasses and a loveseat constructed entirely out of Rmax foam insulation, all remaining neatly contained within the space’s bed sheet covered walls. And yet, the subtle nuanced charm of Golden’s obvious sincerity permits the viewer to move past the never ending whirl of information and instead experience Golden’s own alternate dimension.

Upon entry, the viewer is immediately confronted by hundreds of Golden’s personal photographs, flashing continuously within milliseconds of each other and contained only on the screen that floats above Fireplace’s mantle. The barrage of this repetitive imagery is accompanied by the silhouette of Golden’s featureless head, which periodically turns from side to side in what can be interpreted as a feeble attempt to digest the flickering images surrounding her, while trapped in asphyxiating digital space. In front of this, a projection of Golden’s pale face graces an urn, occasionally singing or humming along to a lucid mix of swan songs and 80’s rock. Each of these media projections is appropriately displayed through Golden’s use of anaglyphic 3D, a 3D effect achieved through the use of cyan and red filtered lenses, which are then applied to an image with two opposing, colored filters.

Consequently, the artist plays on these elements to permit the installation’s audience to form the eventual perception of simultaneously existing within numerous spaces while still remaining within a singular space. As with many of Golden’s other works, such as her Bad Brains, 2012 installation, the space introduces an unshakable sense of displacement, or what Golden has dubbed as “entering the sixth dimension”1, a realm that exists on a plane entirely separate from our own realty. With the projection of Golden’s face shielding her eyes, the attempt to hide from the overflow of outside information seems to maintain its relevance in a society where, as French theorist Jean Baudrillard states, “there is more and more information, and less and less meaning.”

-April Baca


  1. MOCAtv. “Samara Golden on The Fireplace – MOCA U.” Online video clip. MOCA, 10 February 2014. Web. 11 February 2014.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s