The show was a mildly conservative explosion of flashy contemporary art, many of which were composed of mirrors, body parts, or words. The manipulation of light and reflections was a common theme, and many artists seemed to revel in the beauty of words, whether it was multiple words crafted as a list of questions an adult man might ask his father, or simply one word: vulnerable. Mirrors were a common sight; broken shards on the outside of a purse, a rippled reflective surface distorting and inverting its reflections, a reflective wall with shapes cut out of it, blurring the edges of its reflection. Body parts seemed even more popular; da Vinci’s belief that the human body is perfect was recaptured in all mediums. A twisting fluorescent light depicted the brain, a mannequin made of clay circles stood in a corner, and a naked female is having sex with a cockroach the size of a Great Dane (the possibility of censorship is scoffed at). Popular culture, humor, and contemporary issues were not ignored either; there was surprisingly only one piece of art concerning President Obama, and one American flag, made of ribbons weaving around Venetian blinds. A large egg, tucked into a baby carriage, nestled in hay A chair and its surrounding walls was made entirely of unraveled VHS tapes, with the film sitting on the mirror that makes the floor, providing a disconcerting illusion of a never ending pit lined with tapes. A clear glass bowl, cut into only three-fourths its size, sits in a corner hugging the mirror on the wall, yet another illusion created by a clever artist.
The show was scattered across an amazing volume of space. It was guaranteed that anyone who visits the show would get lost within minutes, and even knowing the number of the exhibit where he is currently located is a useless indicator of location. The space, however, made it difficult to tell the difference between bona fide art and constructional necessities. A tangle of thick black wires obscured an artist’s small gallery, yet did not draw attention away from the rest of the art; whether that is a testament to the art or the building I cannot say. Altogether, between jelly donuts, free beer, references to a 50 Cent album, and a massive cord telephone, the show was a proud collection of audacious artists who, in these economic times, cannot afford to be too bold.
March 7, 2009
Posted by The Arts Council of Greater New Haven at 1:30 PM
Many in the arts world are wondering who the next chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts will be and what vision she/he will bring to the job. The LA Times asked several prominent artists (including Tim Robbins, Bill T. Jones, Eve Ensler) what they would do if they ran the NEA. Check out their responses on the LA Times blog.
Posted by The Arts Council of Greater New Haven at 4:10 PM