Archive, Film Series

James Benning


“Two Cabins”


Between 2007 and 2008, independent film-maker James Benning built replicas of two cabins in a remote part of the High Sierras: Henry David Thoreau’s from Walden Pond, and Theodore J. Kaczynski’s (aka the ‘Unabomber’) one-room plywood construction in rural Montana from which he conducted his 16-year pipe-bombing campaign. “Two Cabins” is an installation for cinema in which the artist simply presents two scenes depicting the visual traces of these particular and seemingly divergent American figures. Without narrative or dialogue to guide particular meaning, the viewer is invited to inhabit these environments and consider her or his relationship to them as replicas that refer to specific epochs of American history as well as a recurring structure associated with philosophical inquiry.

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