On our recent trip to the Chelsea galleries, we were asked to play the role of art curator and choose two works from two separate exhibitions that we would either choose to have in our collection or not. In choosing said artworks, I decided to go by what moved me aesthetically and what I felt would be most enduring in terms of public interest.
While at the Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, I got to see video artist-Phil Collin’s exhibition. What first struck me about this particular exhibition was that, aside from a few large photographs, the work was mainly installation and video; requiring significant involvement of the viewer. This Unfortunate Thing between Us is the first piece, consisting of two channel video installations presented in caravans. I notice that my classmates and I are immediately delighted by the unorthodoxy of the piece. All of a sudden we become children in a sort of playhouse and we’re excited to be experiencing art through such an interesting medium. On the next level of the gallery is my heart's in my hand, and my hand is pierced, and my hand's in the bag, and the bag is shut, and my heart is caught, wherein you enter one of six listening booths that contain seven inch vinyl records, listening booths, turntables, amplifiers and speakers. One may enter and choose to play any of the seven records, sit down and fully engage themselves in either a recorded conversation or an original song. To me, Collins work would be a valuable purchase as a curator because of its immersive quality and its way of including the viewer. I would like to display this work and most of all see the reactions of the audience when they are asked to enter a work of art and explore it.
At the Elizabeth Dee Gallery, I found the Post Culture exhibition with works such as that of Torben Ribe and Julia Wachtel. Ribe’s Untitled with Pizza Menus left me more than a little underwhelmed. Consisting only of scarce drips of granite paint on canvas with pizza menus tucked behind, there was not much to grab ahold of aesthetically. This type of abstract work relies mostly on concept rather than aesthetic, leaving myself or any potential viewer a bit confused as to what they are meant to feel. I found Ribe’s piece to be just a bit too “left field” for my taste. In Watchel’s piece titled Acv2.4, I also found there little to be desired. Composed of a few blocks of color and an upside down photograph of a woman drinking from a water bottle, I just found it a bit difficult to find an aesthetic quality in the work that would inspire me to share it with others. Like Ribe’s piece, I assumed that Watchel’s work probably relies on concept to convey its message; a concept that I, unfortunately, did not receive.
"This Unfortunate Things Between Us"
Two channel video installation presented in caravans, color, sound.
60 min. per channel.
"my heart's in my hand, and my hand is pierced, and my hand's in the bag, and the bag is shut, and my heart is caught"
Sound installation. Ten 7 inch vinyl records, listening booths, turntables, amplifiers and speakers.
"Untitled with Pizza Menus"
Granite paint on canvas, pizza menus
39 × 33 in
Flashe and digital print on canvas
46 × 42 3/4 in