Saratonin:art:blog


There is no end to more
February 2, 2010, 5:59 am
Filed under: Art, Collaborative, Performance, Video

Jeremy Wade
EMPAC, Troy, NY

In a style simultaneously reminiscent of Frank Zappa and Nintendo, Jeremy Wade explores the constant onslaught of media and consumer culture in our daily lives through the persona of a child. (review)

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Mark Bradford & Kara Walker
October 28, 2009, 4:53 pm
Filed under: Collaborative, Installation, Painting/Drawing, Sculpture, Video

Sept. 10 – Oct. 17 2009
Sikkema Jenkins & Co.
530 W. 22nd Street New York, NY

I was impressed with these two artists ability to use shape and negative space to create vivid portrayals of misogyny, racism, and violence. Mini-narratives lay everywhere, in text, in image, and sometimes in texture, hidden under a monochrome layer of paint. These paintings and objects were beautifully tied together with videos by Walker using silhouette puppets, paper sculptures, and other media. This exhibit was aesthetically and conceptually intricate and provocative.



Live Feed: 1972 -1994
May 31, 2009, 4:44 am
Filed under: Installation, Sculpture, Video

Nam June Paik
April 14th – June 6th, 2009
James Cohan Gallery
533 West 26th Street, NY, New York 10001

Discovering the work of Nam June Paik while in college, among other discoveries, such as Bruce Nauman’s Live-Taped Corridor, Rhizome, and  Eyebeam, launched me into my current obsession with Digital Art as Fine Art. There is nothing more satisfying to me than manipulating reality through technology, and manipulating technology for the sake of art. Therefore, I was immensely happy to find that James Cohan Gallery in Chelsea was showing his TV sculptures. This show was the best eye candy I have seen in a while.

Though I loved everything there, my favorites were TV Bed, Living Egg Grows, and Watchdog II.

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TV Bed consistes of an angled metal bed frame holding a bed of televison monitors, depicting images of a cellist, crawling soldiers, toy soldiers crawling on a nude, a nude cellist, crawling soldiers carrying cellos, a woman playing a soldier like a cello, a woman playing a stack of TVs like a cello, and other combinations of cellos, soldiers, women, and TVs, combining imagery of war, sex, and entertainment into a colorful, quickly changing collage of footage. A nude wooden doll and and soldier doll carrying a cello are positioned as if they were crawling up the bed.

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Living Egg Grows is a series of angled televisions ordered smallest to largest with a video of a nude woman in an egg shape, interspersed with glowing white eggs, and ending with three smaller stacked eggs, seemingly narrating the birth and reproduction of a woman through television.

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Watchdog II is a humorous TV sculpture of a dog, with a video camera on its tail providing sideways live feed for its snout. The televisions feature colorful distorted video, and loud speakers are transformed into the dog’s ears.

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And, it wouldn’t be a Nam June Paik show without Enlightenment Compressed, or TV Buddha, where a Buddha figure sits on part of a monitor and meditates on live feed of himself shown on a small television in front of him.



Catching up
October 21, 2008, 1:37 am
Filed under: Art, BlogTalk, Collaborative, Installation, Photography, Programming, Sculpture, Video

Due to a recent cut in my free time, I am trying to spend what little is left making my own work rather than writing about others’. Therefore, I am going to hold off on my analysis of each, and instead create a list for later reference.

Eyebeam:
Untethered
– Various Artists

Smack Mellon:
Decoded Love – Shin Il Kim
Oh, Very, Yes! – Kwabena Slaughter

Klompching:
Doppelganger – Cornelia Hediger



Burt Barr
August 1, 2008, 3:22 am
Filed under: Art, Installation, Photography, Video

Burt Barr
June 12th – July 25th, 2008
Sikkema Jenkins & Co.
530 W. 22nd Street New York, NY

“For this exhibition Burt Barr returns to his guiding premise, “that black & white are the only two colors I’ll ever need.” A believer of the single take – no matter its length – Barr’s work is the antithesis of most modern day film and video. All works were shot by Barr and mastered by his longtime editor, Steve Hamilton. The videos are all projected directly on the wall and looped for continual viewing. Using bare necessities to convey movement they hang much as paintings or, more appropriately, black and white photographs (press release).”

Though all of the pieces were intriguing, I gravitated towards ‘Donkey and Lightning,’ a two video installation piece in the back of the gallery. One wall displayed an ambiguous, darkened image of a donkey, which occasionally becomes illuminated. The opposing wall displayed a blank night sky, with occasional flashes of lightning. When the lightning flashed, the donkey image became illuminated.

It takes a few minutes to figure out what is going on in this piece. A viewer cannot see both videos at once due to the setup of the room. Looking at the image of the donkey, one would have to wait for it to become illuminated to discern what it is. Looking at the donkey while it is illuminated, one would not be able to see the lightning flash on the wall behind them. Only by watching the videos separately can one determine the relationship between the two. In this way, two simple videos, when combined, become synchronized in an installation that tests one’s awareness.



Wallowing
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.



Deliverance
July 15, 2008, 3:42 am
Filed under: Art, Photography, Video

Mat Collishaw
June 19th – July 31st
Tanya Bonakdar Gallery (Gallery 1)
521 West 21st St. New York, NY

Mat Collishaw’s exhibition, Deliverance, immerses the viewer into a large dark room, accompanied only by the whir of rotating overhead projectors, delivering frequent lightning like flashes. The flashes create eerie greenish white images on the walls; bright at first, then slowly fading. The images are of people in turmoil; dirty and disheveled, running, holding one another, and crying (Video).

The gallery walls are covered in phosphorescent paint. Where the projectors shine light, the paint glows in the dark, then slowly fades. Collishaw likens this to how the mind perceives images of tragedy in the media; striking one’s perception, then quickly fading from memory (Video).

This clever use of images, space, and materials was very effective. The viewer is consistently bombarded by images. No character can be studied in depth; images of real people in real danger transform into a fantastical dreamscape. As in the media, because of the constant bombardment, and the glamorization of content, what we see does not seem real… even though it is.