of ’performing objects’ stretches back to folk theater, religious
ceremony and ancient practices," writes "Animas!"
curator Janet Riker in the exhibit’s program.
Riker and associate director Meridith McNeal have assembled a
wide array of artwork for the Rotunda Gallery’s latest show,
all demonstrating the lifelike qualities and possibilities of
inanimate objects. Riker was inspired by Obie-award winning Hanne
Tierney, of the five myles gallery-performance space in Crown
Tierney’s piece, excerpts from "Incidental Pieces for Satin
and Strength" (1996), is comprised of aluminum, satin ribbons
and an intricate pulley system that gallery visitors use to manipulate
the movement of the satin ribbons. A spotlight with colored gel
gives the ribbons added sparkle (and the darkened room hides
Christopher Moore’s featured works are also interactive. His
series of small sculptures have hand cranks, which visitors turn
in order to see metal pieces flap like wings.
Walter Martin and Paloma Munoz’s "Beta Boys," wiry
anthropomorphic sculptures made of wire and rubber have heads
akin to upside-down punching bags, arms (with white gloved hands)
and legs. These characters illustrate that having a big head
is a liability - especially when you’re fighting gravity. The
top-heavy "boys" can’t seem to lift their heads off
the waist-high table, yet when visitors look down upon the struggling
figures they’re smiling.
Marina Gutierrez’s "Conjure Dress" (1995) is a haunting
assemblage of wire, copper repousse and recycled cans. The dress
is topped with a wide, human face, and adorned with copper fingers
with long red nails and colorful pictures of fruits cut from
tins. Her figure is jarring - not because of what it is - but
because of what it’s missing: arms and breasts.
Similarly Michael Lee Poy’s skirt frame is made of wire. Unfortunately,
Poy’s sculpture floats high above the gallery’s reception desk
and can be missed if a visitor isn’t looking for it. "Coquette,
The French Maid" (2001) is shown in a nearby photo being
worn by a woman in a parade. In the picture, Poy’s frame is covered
with fabric and gives the effect of being caught by the wind.
A highlight of the show is Meredith Allen’s series of photographs
depicting melting Popsicle faces. Large C-prints show the colorful
ice cream versions of popular animated characters - Tasmanian
Devil (pictured) - melt and drip. Their candy eyes leave a trail
of smudgy, mascara-like tears. Their running visages are presented
against wide natural vistas.
"Animas!" will be on display at 33 Clinton St., through
Dec. 29. Call for hours (718) 875-4047.
Updated 4:00 pm, November 10, 2010