Visit to a Small Planet | Georgina Starr | 1994
5 screen video installation with experiment booths, drawings, text and objects.
In 1955 the actor Jerry Lewis made the Paramount VistaVision movie Artists & Models. In the film he plays a comic book fanatic whose brain is frazzled by over exposure to the fantastical imagery he consumes. In his 1960 movie Visit to a Small Planet Lewis plays the alien 'Kreton' who lands on earth to study the human race. Based on Gore Vidal’s televison play of the same, it is a satirical look at American social and political values during the burgeoning age of television and advertising as seen through the eyes of an alien.
In 1974 aged 6, Georgina Starr climbed into the television to join Jerry on his filmic adventures.
Exactly 20 years later Starr received a message in a space bottle, together with a helmet of invisibility, a selection of Dean Martin records, and a tin of a Buitoni ravioli—the food she was eating while watching the films in 1974. She put on the helmet and ate the ravioli. In a Proustian reverie she began to remember scenes from a life she had a long forgotten. Making a list of 'desires' and armed with a Hi-8 video camera she attempted to attain these desires one by one.
"Visit to a Small Planet (1994) explores dream, memory and the unconscious mind through the multifaceted lens of desire instilled in the developing child's brain during the rise of television culture in the 1970s."