The Cambridge-based experimental video and sound artist, Ann Steuernagel, often combines disparate images resulting in a complicated new hybrid. "Red Boat" is a meeting of culture and nature on an intimate scale; it is a conception of time—past and present, experienced and remembered—that magically is both standing still and passing. On the occasion that led to this video, the artist (who loves to fish) had no fishing pole but did have a camera to record aspects of what she saw and heard. Her video does not document but rather recreates a moment as she remembered it: the voices and bumping of boats; a red kayak in plain view; the water gently moving.
Steuernagel’s meditation on nature and mesmerizing use of time-based media provokes interesting comparisons to landscape painting, especially the tradition of the 19th-century American Sublime. For all their apparent realism, those canvases were imaginative responses to time and place in paint, which often imposed a compositional order onto the land that had the effect of turning the sublime into the picturesque.
– Susan Stoops, Curator of Contemporary Art, Worcester Art Museum