Teetering on the edge of spectacle and genuine artistic exploration, the latest show of multimedia art at Kaleid Gallery is
Teetering on the edge of spectacle and genuine artistic exploration, the latest show of multimedia art at Kaleid Gallery is ersatz. Despite the apparent naïveté of its premise, the show is, as its title suggests, structured to attract attention. Using the most avant-garde of means—including the cinema of projection, video, and sound installations, as well as photography, drawing, and painting—Kaleid invites the spectator to enter his or her own private cinema of projection. It is a movie theater, an enclosed gallery, and an exhibition space, each with its own subjective and critical boundaries. The best works in this show were those that deliberately stressed the fragility of the cinema as a site of representation. This was particularly evident in the work of the Hungarian artist Michal Kosa. The video component of her video installation Red Hell, 1999, consists of a monologue recorded on a tape and transmitted via telephoto lens to a monitor facing the camera. This text is interrupted by real words spoken by the artist, spoken in a flat, abstract, and airy style, but not very memorable, which leaves the spectator in an oddly eerie position. The work has a wry humor at the same time, and in spite of its intense emotional impact, it is captivating in its complexity.The video installation Gegenstand, 1999, also involves a cinema, and its sound component consists of the sounds of moving cameras, which are fixed on a wall of variously sized and shaped light boxes. The cameras are visible only from the outside, but they follow the same trajectory as the cameras in a film. The show also included the video installation Möglichkeiten, 1999, in which the artist, a makeup artist, is shown transforming himself into an actor in a play in which he plays the actor. The act of transformation is accompanied by a sound track composed of the sounds of the artists hands, of a guitar, of the sounds of a piano, and of a violin and cello.
Teetering on the edge of spectacle and genuine artistic exploration, the latest show of multimedia art at Kaleid Gallery is Ãoosely non-narrative and non-narrative. This is a case of a curator who has, so to speak, done what he can to balance the proliferation of images and ideas with a preservation of the work.The most impressive part of this show, and the one that gives the most impact to the contemporary art scene, is the introduction of a new generation of artists, in a gallery which, as the old guard, has had only one or two in the past five years. While there is a lot of veteran work in the show—as well as a lot of new work by new names—there is also a lot of young, up-and-coming work. The exhibitions organized structure reflects this. The artist in the first room is a fairly well-known (at least to the art public) figure from the 20s who was an avant-garde and did not conform to the modernist trends of his time. His work is a mixture of crude drawing, crude impressionism, and figuration. His drawings are based on already sketched-in images of a nude woman and his figure is distorted in such a way as to suggest a floating head. His abstract landscapes are also based on already sketched-in images of nude figures, but the drawings are abstract, and his forms are based on stylized Greek and Roman figures. A few of the paintings are also abstract, but the color is often saturated, the color of a crude oil painting. The shows main theme is the image, the idea, the representation. This theme is expressed not only in the works on paper, which are more varied than the paintings, but also in the images that are collaged onto and layered on top of each other.
Teetering on the edge of spectacle and genuine artistic exploration, the latest show of multimedia art at Kaleid Gallery is ersatz—albeit masterfully botched. Its not the smart thing to do, either. Instead, the show should be seen as an alternative to the years of febrile art-world machismo—the years of art school put on by young artists, like the artist/curator of this show, Tomoko Murakami, and the late, great Noguchi—and as an attempt to correct the balance between the deadpan and the smart. A list of artists and galleries, and a statement on Murakamis work, are at the heart of the matter.But why this show, then, which was curated by Anna Almaguides, a Chilean artist and curator, with a group of Chicago-based curators, is now the subject of such a fuss over art and power? Surely there must be some hidden connection between the importance of this particular show and the power of women artists, and between the current state of the art world and Murakamis work. After all, Murakami has never been afraid to be associated with the powerful, and she was in fact the first Japanese artist to have a solo museum in Chile. Surely, Murakamis work is also relevant to a more general present. Who can blame her? She is an artist who has been marked by an often violent politics, who has always been involved with the struggle for social and political reform, and who, as a result, has always been the target of criticism. How ironic, then, that she has been featured in a city such as Santiago, where she was born and lives, and in which she is still not a recognized artist.Why, then, do the critics despise her? And why is it so dangerous to judge her work by these criteria? The fact is that, for much of her career, Murakami has been a target of censorship and misunderstanding.
Teetering on the edge of spectacle and genuine artistic exploration, the latest show of multimedia art at Kaleid Gallery is ersatz (and therefore banal) art, without the rigor of the reality-based practice that the art was originally made for. Its more about the side-show of a fake party.
vernacular and derivative, but not in the slightest. The work is all the more impressive for its carefully composed and beautifully executed surfaces, which are as beautiful as they are diverse. This show consists of a large number of enigmatic, suggestive pieces, some of them apparently meant to be enigmatic. The installation is filled with female figures, which are locked up, suspended from the ceiling. Their attention is directed to the body of a single figure, which they gaze at with anxious, even erotic curiosity. Here, in a sort of one-on-one mirroring, they are in their own world, absorbed in their own small, private lives. As in the past, here they are very alone, but in the intimate solitude of their own bodies, they seem very present. One is compelled to compare this in some way with the people in the black velvet drapes in The Invisible Man, 1989, who were also chained up in a similar manner. But here the mirrors do not reflect the viewers, but only the spectators, who feel themselves surrounded by a kaleidoscopic kaleidoscope of black velvet. The situation in the performance is, however, another body.The exhibition is very strong, with a great aura of powerful presence. And yet, to call it a show of the obscure or the quotidian is to ignore its richness and intensity, which the viewer is never sure how to approach. It is something quite different, something that reveals the human body to be an extraordinary thing, and something that is more than the mere instrument of esthetic or romantic desire. Kaleidoplastic art confronts us with the erotic, and without a little jiggle in the code of the law it is an extraordinary work.