The Matrix Effect



In this work, children took on the role of art world players, namely the curator and artists involved in the Matrix exhibition series at the Wadsworth Athenaeum in Hartford, Connecticut. Since 1975, the Matrix series has given numerous emerging artists the chance to show their work in a solo museum exhibition – for many of them, their first in the United States. The script for Jankowski’s video was generated from interviews with now famous giants of the art world – such as Sol LeWitt, John Baldessari, Louise Lawler, and Christo and Jeanne-Claude, all of whom participated in the series – as well as former museum director Jim Elliot and long-time Matrix curator Andrea Miller-Keller.
Set during a celebration of Matrix’s 25th anniversary, the video shows Miller – Kellner, as an eight – year old girl , guiding the viewer trough encounters between the artists and Elliot. At the end they toast Matrix’s success. Thanks to the children’s mispronounciations, they create surprising new interpretations of the established art jargon : >>historicalhystericalcriticscritters<<. Trough its use of child actors. The Matrix Effect also exaggerates the art world’s fetishization of youth and novelty as well as caricaturing the dream of eternal youth.


Sol LeWitt
Museum director Jim Elliot
Christo and Jeanne-Claude
Glen Ligon

Video (1 Digital Betacam, 1 DVD ), 24:54 min, NTSC, 4:3, color, sound, English



8 c-prints, each 47 55.8 cm, edition of 10, II. Installation view, Paula Cooper Gallery, New York