Saturday, May 19, 2007

Heart-Shaped Box

I'm reposting the May-June H-SB because I've pretty much rewritten the entire thing. Go see everything.

Alexander Gray Associates
Kathe Burkhart, May 16 - June 23
There's an acting exercise where one actor stands behind another. While the main actor is reciting from the script the second actor says what the character is really articulating. I was thinking of this when I saw Kathe Burkhart's paintings Wednesday night. Burkhart takes that shadow position but she doesn't limit her viewpoint to the internal workings of Liz Taylor or the character she's playing. It might be Taylor but it might also be the culture's projections onto the actress and her performance. This show feels like an uneasy birth, and considering the moment in time it addresses that's appropriate. Hell. We're still cleaning up the delivery room, and we might have lost the baby.

Little Cakes
Christopher Martin's SHAPESHIFTERS, through May 20 (Tomorrow, last chance!)
So often at Little Cakes I find delicious stories. Christopher Martin's show of paintings, light boxes, and dioramas is no exception to that rule. The dioramas felt like a less threatening Sendak, possibly because you could manipulate the characters. The paintings followed with more rich story play. However, my favorite part of this show was the geometric light box abstractions. To be viewed backed by black or white lights, they look like worlds forming, the occasional representational form trying to make it's way out of the box.

David Lemelas.
Opened last night. Haven't seen it yet.

Outrageous Look
Diane Dwyer, April 28-June 10
When I walked into this opening, my immediate reaction was, "Hmmm. OK. These are pretty.", but that was about it. But then I walked into the back room where the paintings were generally smaller and there was less of a crowd. Things started to turn towards the miraculous at this point. When I walked back out into the main gallery the work opened up completely. I was floating. That's about when gallerist Brook Bartlett approached me at the opening, the first thing she said to me was, "Are you OK? You look vaklempt." Yeah. I was. This is an unsettlingly beautiful show. Go.

Venetia Kapernekas Gallery
Joanna Malinowska, May 3-June 2.
First of all, I love the carpet. More galleries should be willing to install carpet when it augments the feeling of a show. Brilliant. At the opening I fell in love with the video In Search of the Miraculous, Continued... Part II, where a boombox sits on an arctic tundra looping Glenn Gould. Mesmerizing and beautiful. (There's a great print that accompanies it too!). When I went to see the show a second time I spent more time with Bering Strait in 14761 B.C., a video of the artist experiencing a guided-imagery meditation wearing snow shoes. I wasn't preprared for how much I was going to like this, but pretty quickly I settled in with the artist on her journey. It feels very much like a painting at points, partly because it's impossible to detect movement. Sometimes that's intentional. Sometimes not. It's a piece filled with surprises. And I have to mention the Arctic Elvis. This piece is alternately hilarious and heart-warming, and possibly sad at times. The viewer is never quite sure. A warm twist on the phrase, "cold comfort." Wonderful.

No comments: