July 21, 2008, 12:14 am
Filed under: Art, Sculpture, Video

Jack Strange
June 19th – July 31st, 2008
Tanya Bonakdar Gallery
521 West 21st Street, New York, NY

“In his sculptures, drawings, collages and videos, Strange recontextualizes and re-imagines the functions of everyday objects and ideas in a manner that is humorous, clever, surprising and at times revelatory. Creating unexpected relationships between commonplace materials, Strange offers a perspective on their uses that can open up new worlds of meaning. A comparison to Surrealism might be appropriate based on this description, but the unusual juxtapositions in Strange’s work are oddly comfortable, and somehow appropriate. While the viewer acknowledges the silliness of combining a lighting fixture and a coat hanger to make a face, as in ‘Another One Again,’ installed in the side gallery, the materials are easily recognizable in their new incarnation. Sometimes, in Strange’s words, ‘the logic of no logic can be quite logical after all.’ With this sophisticated yet direct approach, Strange makes work that transforms the mundane into the marvelous while both formally and thematically addressing issues of creative identity, repetition, perspective, language, technology, biology and nature (ArtSlant).”

Though every piece was intriguing in its own way, what particularly stuck out for me was ‘For The Greenmen (With The Curst Sons, Alpha, Giovanni Manzini and Mr. Clack).’ Four monitors hung along a wall, displaying a looped clip from Ang Lee’s ‘Hulk” film. Each monitor had a different soundtrack, which he commissioned from musicians, including a 14 year old DJ, a classical pianist, a hillbilly rock group and an electronic noise artist. It was interesting to hear how changing a soundtrack can completely change the mood of a movie, and brought to mind William S. Burrough’s ‘The Invisible Generation,’ which describes in comical detail how what we see can be determined by what we hear.


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