Museum celebrates quirks of cabin fever

Still from Metamorfoza.


ANCHORAGE, ALASKA  – (PNAN) –  Prolonged cold and darkness drive Northerners into their homes, and often into themselves. This shared experience across Northern latitudes is known as cabin fever and for those way up North, cabin fever is more complex and extreme.

On view through February 26, 2017, “Cabin Fever: The Devil is in the Details” is presented through the works of four artists and filmmakers at the Anchorage Museum. Viewers will discover these filmmakers stretch the boundaries of what cinema and poetry can be while delving into the varied expressions of cabin fever.

Works in the exhibition include: All My Life (1966), by Bruce Baillie, Port Townsend, Washington, USA. Baillie placed the camera on a tripod for one slow 360-degree pan of a sunlit garden. This simple one-take approach is subversive in concept. He did not include a single edit. Experimental film often attenuates the viewer’s attention with a long, unhurried gaze.

Sissy-Boy-Slap-Party (2004), by Guy Madden, Winnipeg, Canada. Madden use of black and white film from a narrow aperture, like a squinting or peeking eye, invokes intrigue about a steamy tropical fantasy. He exploits the viewer’s romance with antique cinema to lure the viewer into watching bad behavior and enjoying it.

Metamorfoza (2014), by Martha Colburn, Amsterdam, Netherlands. Colburn uses rich, painterly language of animation to convey her own pastiche of contemporary and historic imagery, offering the viewer a hallucinatory visual feast. Her work is edited in camera – once the last frame is shot, the film is complete, like a live performance.

Brouillard Passage #4 (2013), by Alexandre Larose, Montreal, Canada. Larose’s work is a painterly dreamscape about how longing for summer embellishes memories of it. He layered many exposures of the same activity on 35 mm film.

The Far Off Place I’m Writing to You From (2013), by Eva Saulitis, Homer, Alaska, USA. Saulitis’ poem brings to mind how powerfully Alaska’s landscape shapes and inspires its inhabitants.

Experimental film provides a dynamic medium for revealing the manifestations of cabin fever. From the margins of art, beginning in the ‘60s, experimental film chiseled its way into museums and galleries by re-inventing and overturning expectations popularized in commercial, narrative-based films. New technology allows museums to present moving image art from film to video as single channel installations in gallery settings.


The largest museum in Alaska, the Anchorage Museum ( at Rasmuson Center tells the true story of the North by connecting people, expanding perspectives and encouraging global dialogue about the North and its distinct environment.

Published by on January 2017. Filed under Alaska, At the Museums dept, News (Time related), Palette News Arts Network/PNAN, PaletteBoards Section. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Comments are closed