Saturday, April 3, 2010

Obscura blacks out Eyedrum

Posted By on Sat, Apr 3, 2010 at 3:00 PM

click to enlarge DANCERS IN THE DARK: Olive Shaner's "Shadow Lamp"
  • DANCERS IN THE DARK: Olive Shaner's "Shadow Lamp"

Obscura, meaning dark, reverses many of an art exhibition's conventions. Generally, an exhibition space is a white cube upon which brightly illuminated works are hung. For Obscura, Eyedrum's already cave-like interior has been painted completely black, suffusing the space with deep darkness. As your eyes adjust to the low light, artworks shimmer into view. Here, the works assembled by first-time curators Lisa Thrower and Joey Vicory are the light sources.

A text-based relief by Duane Georges hangs opposite the entry door. In it, the word "candor" is broken apart by individual letters. Each character becomes a separate piece of glowing sculpture. Georges employs various fonts, materials and methods of illumination, including perforated mesh, wire mesh, marbles, straws, Plexiglas, LEDs and halogen lights. The artist encourages an examination of typography, which we generally take for granted; he draws attention to the materiality of words and how meaning is contained in both the word itself and the way in which it's presented.

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(Photo by Olive Shaner)

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