Certainly we all recognize that as each week passes we lose an opportunity to visit a closing exhibition. Insert “Danger!” sign here. You risk missing some great shows.
For instance, we visited Brad Eberhard’s painting show on Saturday. Something I learned on seeing the paintings for this third time – or was reminded of – is that I need to let go of expectations with new work by familiar artists. Two paintings bugged me the first time I saw the show: I resisted both “Color Monitor” and “Traveller” I think because they refused to become recognizable things.
Yes my friends, looking is often like an interior wrestling match for me. Often my initial reaction is just that – a reaction. Meaning one without consideration, without thought.
During our visit on Saturday a friend who happened to be visiting at the same time said to me, “Check out those two – they look like the image is just exploded.” He was referring of course to the aforementioned “Color Monitor” and “Traveller.” No prompt of mine brought this observation out. I did look again and – perhaps because my eye was primed by previous viewings and certainly because my friends’ comment had shifted my mind to a “lack of resolution can be good” state – I was still confounded by the work but this time also intrigued.
The fact that the colors and shapes on the canvas were stuck in a place between apprehension and recognition became interesting – just being literal about it the data on a color monitor will of course be unsorted information at most points of existence and do in fact reslove themselves line by line on your monitor… this is how browsers work.
Brad Eberhard New Paintings, Tom Solomon at Cottage Home, 410 Cottage Home St., Chinatown, 90012
Also closing will be Krysten Cunningham 3 to 4 at the Bernard St. space, 427 Bernard St., Chinatown, 90012
Emilie Halpern’s exhibition “Eclipse” at Pepin Moore isn’t closing this weekend, in fact it isn’t closing until the 23rd, but go this weekend so you’ll have a chance to come back after you’ve thought for a while.
In the group of sculptures and photographs that explore cultural ideas of the sun, in this case many from ancient Egypt, Halpern has suspended rocks (or possibly chunks of meteorite) from the ceiling with a large mirror on the floor underneath. Hmm, I thought. David pointed to the mirror saying, “Look – it’s the Big Dipper!” (I know this seems like a crazy way to introduce you to a work of art but… there it is.) Indeed the mirror reflected the rocks as the familiar constellation. From the side we reat that the rocks have a similar distance from each other as the ‘real’ stars. Yes the sky is not flat. Seems really obvious doesn’t it?
I’ve participated in several discussions lately of the moment between apprehension of a thing (or idea) and recognition of it. (Recognition seems to stop our brains from exploring further.) At a talk Sunday night Jan Tumlir used the term “delay” to describe this moment and urged his audience (mostly young artists) to aim for that place. With many of the works in “Eclipse” Emilie Halpern allows us to stay in that place of wonder and to relish the experience.
A few links to help edify you: Emilie Halpern at Light and Wire online gallery; a video project at I Heart Photograph blog (always, weekly even, check I Heart Photograph. Most recent posts here.); and an October 2009 interview with Halpern on BaseNow.
10:30 PM, all of us here at Notes on Looking are going to bed. More tomorrow!
Almost forgot: Pepin Moore is at 933 Chung King Road, Chinatown, 90012