phile under: TBA 2010
TBA 2010: Making the rounds at The Works
Here’s a sweeping overview of some of The Works’ gallery shows.
The People’s Biennial
A diverse and vibrant collection of works from not-necessarily-established artists, this jam-packed exhibit features everything from bizarre felt piñatas and wooden walking sticks, to large hand-and-footprint paintings created through the act of breakdancing. Video installations, photo exhibits, found art, kids’ art, and even ice cream signage, represent for their respective regions. Technicians, collectors, craftspeople and eccentric recluses, are all brought to light.
Leisure, jade plants, and jaded ladies are some of the themes explored in Tharp’s multimedia exhibit.
Challenge: Spattered mirror flanked by a white and black flag, which say respectively, “Not the first time; not the last time.” Text piece that scathingly states, “ONVACATIONATWAR.”
Reward: A beautiful full-wall mural with pastel portraits of famous actresses—Judy Garland, Marilyn Monroe, Goldie Hawn—diverse in era and craft, but united by a certain worldliness.
Ruby Sky Stiler
Inherited And Borrowed Types
Ruby Sky Stiler will give you classic Greco-Roman nudes, but she makes you work for them. Slabby statuary reveals the forms in cubist 2-D pieces, rather than as a whole. Meanwhile, the wall is hung with collage pieces which basket-weave a page of text with a page of black-and-white image. Every now and again, a figure emerges. Often, the pictures are obscured by the words.
Jessica Jackson Hutchins
Children Of The Sunshine
Ever look at a grand piano and think, “wow, the top of that would make an excellent etching plate?” No? Then you’re not Jessica Jackson Hutchins, who apparently thought exactly that. Giant piano prints, along with the paint-ravaged objet, are put on display, and accompanied by a video installation which documents a long, exuberant multi-instrument livingroom jam session. “We are children of the sunshine,” the musicians sing. And children of the sunshine get to paint and print their pianos.
When something’s in the air, our machines are the first to know—launching into staticy, snowy, flickering freak-outs. In Tornado Warning, a big screen forebodes meteorological doom.
The Safest Place
The impact of the lone rotating astronaut at the center of this piece, is immeasurably enhanced by an endlessly echoing vocal soundscape. The mechanical regularity of the echoes supports the scientific side of space travel, even as the reedy human tones bespeak the loneliness of a displaced soul.
2012 and The Astronomer, Part 1: Departure From Shed
Ronnie Bass’s pieces are hypnotic, sparse—and simultaneously lulling and uneasy. Bass seems to cast himself as both father and son in his stark, laconic video pieces. Over a slow electronica soundscape, Bass The Father attempts to sooth the anxiety of Bass The Son. Yet it’s unclear whether the challenge is overcoming agoraphobia, or undertaking space-travel.