Measuring the Circle belongs to series of works that Ellie Ga based on the destroyed Pharos Lighthouse of Alexandria, Egypt. Built in the 3rd century BCE, the lighthouse stood for centuries as a remarkable symbol of technological advancement and one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. On the left side of this video, Ga interweaves materials relating to the lighthouse dating back to antiquity with footage documenting her research process. On the right side, she plays an ancient Greek geometry game with cut-outs of these images, creating a visual metaphor for her attempt to fit together pieces of the lighthouse’s story. By juxtaposing story-telling and research, documentary and fiction, and personal memory and historical accounts, Ga reveals how our understanding of the present is shaped by the many ways we attempt to remember and understand the past.
Label from We the People: New Art from the Collection, October 23, 2018–July 21, 2019