Is there a secret, intertwined history that ties together mass media, spiritualist con artists, pulp fiction and the unreliability of the image? Tony Oursler’s “Imponderable” would like you to think so. The multimedia artist’s latest work (on at MoMA through January 8th, 2017) is a 90-minute immersive video experience that attempts to draw connections between all of those topics as well as his own familial autobiography and other threads that relate to his collection of spiritualist memorabilia. Unfortunately, when the work seems to come close to solidifying a thematic relationship between the various subjects on its mind, it tends to feel a bit like a magician clumsily employing misdirection. The audience sees a hat, a beautiful assistant and a rabbit up the sleeve, but no magic.
I wonder what the crew of A&E’s guilty pleasure Hoarders would say about the New Museum’s recently opened exhibition The Keeper. With four floors of artists’ obsessions, the collecting impulse on view is more manic and compulsive than merely an academic archival interest. In fact, the exhibition looks a lot like the aftermath of a Hoarders Anonymous meeting.
Before attending the group exhibition, I expected the show might too easily and predictably engage with the current archival trend in contemporary art. I’m so glad I was wrong–I wasn’t looking forward to donning white gloves to paw through precisely organized archival boxes.
The above image is the last animated GIF Rick Silva produced in his “En Plain Air” series, which ran from January 2012 through June 2013. For the series, Silva sketched out landscapes on site, on his laptop.
It was a great series full of mesmorizing GIFs. Now, Silva is building on that, with “The Silva Field Guide to Birds of a Parallel Future“, which is comprised of a number of 30 to 40 second videos complete with a digital sound track. I chose not to make GIFs from these videos, since that obviously isn’t how they are meant to be seen. But they are part of the Portland Biennale, which is open now through September 18th and is curated by Michelle Grabner. So, those who wish to see the work installed have an opportunity to see them presented in Portland. And for those of us who want to experience them from the comfort of our laptops, we’ve got that option too.
Do you believe the children are the future? What about their future pasts? At Maryland Art Place we checked in on Young Blood, a survey of recent area MFA grads, including DIY Star Trek and paintings corrupted like future JPEGs. Upstairs at Terrault Contemporary, Kaita Niwa time travels with the magic of CGI and a creepy child avatar.
In the words of composer Huang Ruo, “The installation opera Paradise Interrupted integrates opera, theater, dance, music, poetry, made-up words, interactive multimedia, and cross-cultural operatic spirits, all into one entity.”
Sound ambitious? It is. This stunning opera combines more media than I’ve ever seen in one work of contemporary art, while gracefully navigating Chinese-English translation.
For this reason, I wanted to talk with the artist mastermind, Jennifer Wen Ma, Director and Visual Designer of Paradise Interrupted, which kicked off Lincoln Center Festival.
Why does the division between life and death always seem narrower in the American South? Maybe it’s the prevalence of ghost stories or just the spooky imagery of Spanish moss hanging from a live oak tree.
Rachel Stern delves into this tenuous Southern boundary between life and death in her current solo exhibition Yes, Death at Black & White Gallery/Project Space. And what could be more emblematic of the transition into the afterlife than cemeteries?
We’re doing a lot of Baltimore coverage thanks to Artscape, the nation’s largest free public art festival. There will be more to come in the next week, because we saw a lot of art. But as one might have gleaned from some of our earliest Artscape coverage a few years ago, there’s just as much partying (if not more) as art involved with the festival. And if not “partying” per se, drinking.
I snapped this GIF of an astronaut unwinding at the city’s famed Club Charles shortly after Artscape rolled up its sidewalks (Artscape was space-themed this year). By the last day of a hot, exhausting weekend, we all needed a drink. Sunday I witnessed not one, but two people puking from some combination of sugary frozen slushies and heat exhaustion. One of them may or may not have thrown up on her children in the midst of dancing around a drum circle. Thank God for gravity. Perhaps it’s more accurate to say I won’t be wanting another drink until at least next weekend.