Despite their appearance as static images, these three screen’s all display a video of frame after frame of the color red played on a loop. Red Alert (2007) was inspired by the Russian Constructivist painter Alexander Rodchenko’s Pure Red Color, Pure Yellow Color, Pure Blue Color (1921), a work that consists of monochromes paintings in each of the three primary colors.
Like Rodchenko, Hito Stereyl wanted to push her medium — in this case, video — to its most simplified, reduced form. her focus here on the color Red is a reference to both the highest level of the now-discontinued, color-coded terror threat system that was implemented in the United States in the aftermath of 9/11, as well as red light’s connotations as signaling something seedy and pornographic.
Photographed in the Whitney Museum of American Art.