Beckman was trained at CalArts in the mid-1970s and her work draws inspiration from a number of sources, including the developmental psychology of Jean Piaget, as well as American sport culture, Hollywood films, and 1960’s cartoons. Bound together by a narrative based on game structures, architecture and memory, the three films Cinderella (1986), Hiatus (1999/2015), and Switch Center (2003) cover the last thirty years of Beckman’s production.
Hiatus, here installed in an unprecedented double screen including uncut original material, follows a young woman in an immersive online game wherein her avatar confronts a beguiling cowboy caricature attempting to convert her garden into his pharma enterprise.
Tension Building is a composite of linked architectural spaces, utilizing both actualized and model environments. Shot at the Harvard University Coliseum and the Municipal Stadium in Florence (built in 1935 by Italian modernist architect Pierluigi Nervi), Tension Building draws its energy from the rigorous physical production methodology, which matches the spectacle that this architecture was created for.