Monument Valley: America’s Temporal Paradox is a collaborative installation by artists Dustin Shores and Eric Wilson inspired by Monument Valley, within the Navajo Nation along the Arizona–Utah border. The landscape of this region is a national and international icon of the American West. The installation is a response to this iconic region of the United States through the interrogation of space and Hollywood’s role in creating this mythical iconography. This Hollywood myth as portrayed through films optimistically and romantically skew the view of the West which creates unrealistic and generalized perceptions of this region.
The installation is intended to create a critical discourse by collapsing these Hollywood narratives into one immersive installation experience. The John Ford’s point miniature diorama is inside a set design inspired by Monument Valley. The viewing window forces a perspective into the immersive installation, mimicking Hollywood filmmaking. Participants play a dualistic role as a spectator and then as a set piece of the Hollywood narrative. First the observer, and then showcased as part of the set by the next observers through the viewing window. The kitsch items on display are trapped in limbo as to suggest a commentary on the commodification of the Western genre. The continuous setting sun is a never-ending looping of time that perpetuates through both a real and fictional place.
Collaborative installation by Dustin Shores and Eric Wilson
Desert Hollywood: Celebrity Landscapes in Cinema, Tucson Desert Art Museum, Tucson, AZ (2018)