Weekly Update – Slought’s emerging artist shows

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This week’s Weekly has my review of 1:5:25 at Slought Foundation.  Below is my copy with some pictures.

Video is a huge part of the art world and many galleries now include the medium as part of their regular programming.    Shows of all video art are less frequent although they too occur. Sloughts “1:5:25” is an all-video show curated by a team of 5 and presenting works by 25 artists or artist groups.   A veritable dim sum video banquet of stuttering, fast-paced, culture-questioning videos, the show is good but it raises the question:  How much video is too much?

One of the videos at Slought. This appeared on a loop with other videos that used split-screen and pop-culture imagery. I think it's by David Romberg
One of the videos at Slought. This appeared on a loop with other videos that used split-screen and pop-culture imagery. I think it’s by David Romberg

1:5:25 decentralized the curating by inviting each of the 5 young co-curators to organize their own “mini” show on a theme. The videos loop on five screens, each dedicated to a different theme:  sex, the body, architecture, language or technology.  The resulting experience is like going to five shows in one gallery.

Same dancing split screen video--it really is a fun piece.
Same dancing split screen video–it really is a fun piece.

The individual pieces are short, and some of those I saw are very good.  Mariya Dimov’s upside down whirling dervish is a great take on everything from voyeurism to religious imagery to torture; David Romberg’s split-screen hip hop dance sampler shows the same dance moves around the world and is a great embrace of humanity as well as technology;  Jennie Thwing’s video of a sock-puppet-like leg snaking its way through a landscape is Pee Wee Herman meets Brothers Grimm—terrific and terrifically odd.

Mariya Dimov's upside down dervish. A performance/torture/religion piece.
Mariya Dimov’s upside down dervish. A performance/torture/religion piece.

Seating was not available for comfortable viewing when I was there at the crowded opening.   But I’m assured there is now seating which is great because standing to watch time-based media is an immediate turn-off.

Alana Bograd's swirling paintings look bolder and stronger than ever.
Alana Bograd’s swirling paintings look bolder and stronger than ever.

In Slought’s back gallery is another show, also, like 1:5:25, part of its emerging artist series.  Alana Bograd’s large colorful, loop-de-loop paintings are standouts; digital portraits of mom and dad and digital video by Asher Barkley are worth a look as are installations by Tina Zavitsanos and Aki Torri and deadpan photos by Didier Clain.

Constantina Zavitsanos' mirror and video piece catches you coming and going. Zavitsanos has a similar piece in her Fleisher Challenge show.
Constantina Zavitsanos’ mirror and video piece catches you coming and going. Zavitsanos has a similar piece in her Fleisher Challenge show.

New Media in the White Cube and Beyond,” a collection of essays on the phenomena of all things new media (video, internet art, game-hacking art, etc) provides examples of alternative modes of display for mediated art.  Implied throughout the many essays is the need to engage the viewer and prevent viewer fatigue or frustration for works that demand much more than a painting does.  Sarah Cooke’s essay suggests, among other things, “one night stands,” instead of the 30-day show, for work that would benefit from artist-viewer interaction and explication.

Didier Clain's street photos.
Didier Clain’s street photos.
Asher Barkley, portrait of mom done with paint samples.
Asher Barkley, portrait of mom done with paint samples.

It’s a great idea and would work perfectly for “1:5:25.”  Maybe five one night stands, one for each theme, would allow viewers to get a grip and digest individually what’s presented here as a big smorgasbord.

Tags

alana bograd, asher barkley, constantina zavitsanos, david romberg, didier clain, mariya dimov, slought foundation

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