Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Artists look ELSEWHERE for inspiration

Posted By on Tue, Apr 21, 2009 at 6:43 PM

click to enlarge DREAM-QUEST OF UNKNOWN KADATH? Christine Bailey, Kanin (video still), 2007, edition of 10.
  • DREAM-QUEST OF UNKNOWN KADATH? Christine Bailey, Kanin (video still), 2007, edition of 10.

After witnessing secondhand another critic's less-than-positive reception of Saltworks' Cumanana show ("art whose list of materials reads like the inventory of a homeless lady's shopping cart"), this writer is more than a little curious to see what's next.

Enter ELSEWHERE: a group show at Saltworks Gallery opening Sat., April 25 from 7-9 p.m. On one hand, the press materials are descriptive enough:

As contemporary works they are loosely connected to ‘Golden Age’ or utopian ideals of pastoral literature and art … Though these works share a relationship to the history of painting’s long romance with the land, they are of the Now … Each artist is affected by the reality and technology of today, as demonstrated in the way they choose to embrace or repel these notions.

On the other hand, beyond citing the aesthetics of Romanticism (think Beethoven or those hyperbolic landscapes by Caspar David Friedrich) and suggesting a possible modern reinterpretation of those ideas, I'm still drawing a blank as to what the exhibition might look like. In a very good way, it could look like almost anything. Jennie C. Jones, one of the artists, creates sound-art recordings as well as quirky minimalist drawings inspired, it seems, by sound equipment such as the Walkman and "sub woofers and such." The curator, Shinique Smith, has an installation currently on view at the Studio Museum in Harlem. We shall see …

(Photo courtesy Westside Arts District)

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