Dana Sperry Humpty Dumpty: the Battle for the Corner Rages On 2005 DVD video recording on LCD monitors and custom wood case, dimensions variable [view of installation]
Dam, Stuhltrager has arranged one of those perfectly-cool summer shows, a group exhibition curated by Aileen Tat and Rachel Pascua called "Stolen Time". This art will be welcoming, and quite fresh, to almost any visitor in the gallery, but fortunately it isn't simple light fare; even when it gets really hot out there art nuts have to have something of substance to get through the day.
The fourteen artists included in the show were selected on the basis of work submitted to the gallery over the previous year and the pieces are described by the curators as representing the distinctive reactions of contemporary artists to a contemporary world which increasingly compartmentalizes and accelerates ordinary experience, the "stolen time" of the show's title.
On Sunday Barry and I hung about inside the gallery and in the sculpture garden in the rear for much of an hour talking to Leah Stuhltrager and other visitors, and during this time I allowed myself to be totally seduced by Dana Sperry's piece. I was drawn to it as much for the sound design as the odd behavior of the images on the screen and the neat installation. Have you ever heard the repeated crackle of a company of muskets played backwards on small speakers?
The Nacogdoches, Texas-based artist describes his work:
Using footage from Civil War re-enactments played in reverse, the video piece explores the romantic notions attached to the spectacles of warfare. Installed in a corner and titled after a nursery rhyme originally written to celebrate a victory in the English Civil War, the work attempts to question the childish atttraction humans have towards destruction.
The other artists in the show are Conrad Carlson, Paul Davies, Sara Dierck, Gianluca Fratantonio, Tamar Hirschl, Scott Listfield, Anthony Murray, Ben Pranger, Ryan Sullivan, Jeff Thompson, Arno Tijnagel, Heeseop Yoon & Lance Wakeling.
Paul Davies Epilogue (The First War of the New Millenium) 2001 epoxy resin on wooden toolbox with custom electronics and mechanicals 25" x 15" x 8" [installation view, not including adjacent label: "Directions: Insert finger fully into opening until a click is heard. Finger will be stamped with a serial number"]
Heeseop Yoon Closet 2006 black tape on mylar and gallery space, dimensions variable [large detail of installation]