Cliff Evans at Location One

Cliff Evans The Road to Mount Weather 2006 three-channel video [three stills from the installation]

Cliff Evans's extraordinary three-channel video installation, "The Road to Mount Weather", is at Location One until November 4. This ambitious and very impressive work, curated by Pieranna Cavalchini, Curator of Contemporary Art at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, was painstakingly collaged from images downloaded from the internet. For me it was like watching a vintage 3-strip Cinerama spectacle documenting the continuing dream-become-nightmare which is likely to be remembered as the culmination of the American imperium.

The sound design is, not incidentally, terrific.

This SoHo space devoted to exciting New Media work is always worth a visit, but because of the distractions of our current curating adventure Barry and I might have missed the very impressive current installation had it not been for a strong recommendation, and at least one subsequent reminder, from Jacques Vidal, one of the artists included in our Williamsburg show. I now appreciate both the reason for his enthusiasm and the connection between Evans's work and his own.

From the gallery's press release:

The Road to Mount Weather is an open animation, susceptible to hugely varied critical perspectives and interpretations. It shakes us out of our complacency. In a mock epic journey through capitalist Hell, Evans creates a baffling cascade of imagery coded in complex syntax. The large swath of information is presented in a loop shown at a slow and melodious pace. With each repeated viewing, the viewer becomes more intrigued, less complacent, finding new associations and symbols, and questioning the final meaning of the narrative.

Evans is one of a number of artists who have mined the form and content of appropriation and photomontage in their work. Among his notable predecessors are Georges Braque and the Dadaists. Images are treated almost like found objects, obtained from the vast reference library that is today's Internet. They are cut up and scrambled, scene after scene, with deliberate order and disquieting disorder ultimately finding a perfect fit in the puzzle.

Evans reflects on America's complex geopolitical situation and its impact on mainstream news where fear is a constant. [His] ever-expansive investigation is matched by an eye for detail as well as an ability to find humorous prank subtexts.

Certainly one of the most impressive and complex digital works I have seen. And it has a significant message to boot. Kudos, Cliff.

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Published on October 28, 2006 8:46 PM.

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