Saturday, March 27, 2010

ALT X Flower _The art of discovery.

_Viewing area for Thorns in the Garden

_ In conversation with Cathy Nolan Vincevic and her husband, the topic of how much of a lead in is needed for the viewer came up. Many artists prefer to say as little as possible, others provide clues; perhaps a leading title or brief description next to the piece. This approach for me seems best, as I always am a bit annoyed when viewing a work and take away something meaningful and find out from the little card on the wall that I wasn’t close in my thinking as to the artists’ intention. 'Less is more' is something that works for me. Save the critique for later. I would rather confront a work on it's own terms instead of being lead. Although I do confess that if a description of the work is available I'll read it every time. It's probably a left brain right brain thing.
_Perhaps there is an art in itself to writing these little cards such that the viewer has some latitude. I don’t want to walk away from the work with my last impression being one of disconnect. The disconnect such as when the description solely focuses on technique or seems to describe connections that must be only in the artists mind.
_Spending time in the gallery over the past several days and thinking about my piece, Thorns in the Garden, has left me with two contradictory feelings about it. One impulse is to lead and put viewers in touch with the piece. “Come over, look through the telescope…look what you can see!” Which is actually a tiny monitor screen mounted close to the ceiling that plays a loop of clips interspersing distant galaxies, time-lapse plant growth and war. Equally strong is a feeling that people need to discover the piece on their own; they need to chance taking a peek at what the telescope is aimed at. I'll probably err on the subtle side.

Deborah Bohnert rolls out red string connecting her art to the audience

_Artist Deborah Bohnert's performance piece describes itself during its execution. Upon entering Mobius you encounter Deborah's installation. One audience member described it as a Coney Island explosion. Actually the large assemblage is made up of altered objects from flea markets, antique stores and I suspect found objects. Cones of red string emanate from the center of the installation and in the performance of the work, Deborah unravels the string and encourages an audience member to take the end. If the offer is accepted she then asks them if they would like free art. A positive response gains the viewer a portion of the tableau.
_A very smart work as the audience discovers the joy of participating and receiving.

_Dance was part of the Flower Show with a piece choreographed by Marsha Parrilla. Marsha and her dance partner Fran de Paula perform the work Harina in this five minute video. Graceful and full of tender intimacy as well as the very creative use of flour for a play on the exhibitions title.

Unforced Variations

_And a surprising last minute addition, Sandy Kautz of the Camellia Society set up a display titled "Unforced Variations" I found this interesting on several levels. At first glance one might assume that these would be more at home at Boston's Flower Show down at the World Trade Center. I think Sandy actually liked the idea that these flowers personalities fit in with "alternative flower show' better. The title comes from the idea that at the spring flower show we view plants forced into unnatural bloom to coincide with the timing of the flower shows.
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