Tim Eads’ exuberant Species of Spaces feels confined in Rebekah Templeton’s storefront gallery. I like this work. But I wonder how it would blossom in a larger space? I remember an Environment Paul Thek created years ago at Documenta, a room of sand dunes and art and peace and quiet breathing. Stuck in that stupid German city for a week I could instantly re-gain my composure in Thek’s room.
Eads’ opening was also a performance which sadly I missed. In Eads’ space one acquires joy. It’s the contraptions. A piano wire strummed by a Jean Tinguely-machine is called Violin and evokes, as well, John Cage’s prepared pianos. In another Eads plays with water!
Thek and Tinguely and Cage are dead. Eads’ quiet Plow reminds me of certain work by the contemporary artist Tom Shannon. Shannon exhibits along the Tokyo-New York-Paris-Berlin circuit. I doubt either artist knows the work of the other. But they share an intellectual ancestor, Marcel Duchamp. Shannon and Eads both make contraptions. But Shannon’s work sleekly provokes wonder whereas Eads intentionally brings merry smiles. One Eads’ sculpture makes French fries. He adds LEDs to his spirographs. A quiet aquarium pump hums happily out a paper megaphone.
Editor’s note: Here’s a video by Raoul Romero from opening night. You can hear the sound by Austen Brown, the crowd and the gizmos. The exhibit runs to June 30, 2012.