Scene from Doug Aitken's MigrationFor his new installation piece, Migration, at 303 Gallery Doug Aitken projects video onto three massive billboard-like screens. The video features a series of anonymous roadside motel rooms inhabited by North American migratory animals. With this piece Aitken does a wonderful job of drawing the comparison between our own travels and the migration of these animals.
Motel rooms are the cold and functional way stations of our journeys. They are stocked with the bare essentials necessary for us to rest and push forward on our journey. We are lonely and restless in these spaces just like the animals he uses as stand-ins for our experience. The individual scenes play out with a Jarmusch-like stillness as each animal interacts with specific mundane objects in the motel room. The results are a hypnotic and often moving comment about uncertainty and isolation. Aitken's statement and execution are flawless.