A Green Screen Mirrors the Impossibilities of Arrival / Hyperallergic

Kelly Kaczynski, “Here On the Way There” (2013)

Somewhere in Los Angeles, a movie is being filmed, an actor is speaking words from memory, and a person is hunched over a screen carefully editing moving images using the green screen, a post-production special effects technique that layers on a background that doesn’t physically exist. The conceptual premise of the green screen is the entry point for Kelly Kaczynski’s solo exhibition Here On The Way There, on view through May 26 at Comfort Station in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood. It is a building that “originally served as shelter for trolley riders in the late 1900s … that has been defunct for decades,” according to a Kickstarter fundraiser for the station. Much like Terrain Exhibitions in Oak Park, which asks artists to make work around a suburban home, Comfort Station is a curious space that offers artists an opportunity to engage with its history and surroundings.

In her statement, Kaczynski says that she considers the green screen as an “infinite site on an infinite scale in an infinite production.” In this sense, the idea of the green screen as a concept will never get you anywhere directly, much like the internet itself which allows users to travel down a cyber rabbit hole. She applies this concept to the Comfort Station, which was once built as a rest stop for an actual, physical destination. Yet like the green screen and the internet itself, which bear no relationship to space and time other than how long one may spend immersed in their illusions of infinitude, Comfort Station is a non-destination, suggesting that the journey itself may in fact be the destination, and that location is truly optional.