Tuesday, January 24, 2006

grit, soma, and perceptions

I have been busy working on the large drawings (48"x85"), and finally got two layers of one of them done, and decided I definitely need one more layers. Ugh more circles! Apparently though, tenacity, or 'grit' is a promising thing (courtesy of ArtsJournal).

Speaking of circles, JT has been going nuts with lots of really beautiful and precise drawings. He is beginning to branch out and looks like he is having fun. The works look great, and I hope to see them out and about sometime soon.

This weekend I got out to see PS1 and The Sculpture Center. Pipilotti Rist's piece at PS1 was the tiniest and most compelling of the works on view. A tiny monitor embedded in the floor with vibrantly colored video of a woman shouting 'help me!' in a variety of languages while being engulfed by cartoon like flames. The viewer stands towering over this teeny woman feeling entranced and helpless. She can't be helped since she is in a video, but her being beneath the floor makes it a visceral piece. Many people walked by without even seeing it...

I also enjoyed the piece by Mckendree Key (whose work I have seen a lot lately: here, and here) did a wonderful work continuing her investigations of preception of space. By imposing structures in architecture or the environment Mckendree challenges our notions of space and personal relations to the external world. Her work is often whimsical at the same time, which I enjoy.

There was also a stunning and subtle piece by Mary Temple that had us enthralled and investigating the work closely. She also seems to be toying with preconceived notions of seeing.

Overall the Sculpture Center, while having the occassional outstanding pieces (Key, Temple, and previously works by Petah Coyne, Elena Herzog and Ana Linnemann), is so consumed by the 'investigation into the practice of what IS sculpture' (my words not theirs), that I often find the premise of the investigation interesting, while the pieces are sadly lacking. I am a supporter of expanding the boundaries of what constitutes sculpture (after all the drawings above will become something in between drawing and sculpture when I am finished with them), but the work and curatorial mission shouldn't suffer for it. I will keep going back, and heck probably even one day become a member, but I will also hope that the work shown there improves on the whole.

Actually to be fair, here are their words: "SculptureCenter is a not-for-profit arts institution dedicated to experimental and innovative developments in contemporary sculpture."

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