Audio Visual Arts, New York
13 April – 11 May 2014
by KATE TIERNAN
Repetition features heavily in the work, leading the viewer to question whether we see more of something from a place of pausing or pacing. Machine-like order and circular pattern is fractured with visuals of nature, while accompanying sounds stream like running water from the corner of the space.
The single-channel video Semblance positions the viewer between observer and the subject being observed, turning the viewer into a voyeur after a few minutes of looking into the trees – with awkwardness at what we could be witnessing behind the branches. The passing fog or steam in the film sweeps through the frame: is it coming from a machine exhaust, a fire, a lake, or a cigarette? Three trees stand strong and static in the midst of everything else that is moving and swaying in the wind, and sounds of trickling water drift from the left of the room along with the smoke. The work is both meditative and enchanting, with a persistent fragility.
Cluett says: “The show is an attempt to reconcile a taxonomy of memory types/ways of memory – I’m trying to understand the role of mediation in human memory and documentary recording technology (photography/drawing/video/sound) as a metaphor/devices for collecting/gathering/capturing. The works look at/listen to the distance between lived-experience and the inaccurate, mis-remembered, faulty, and hyperbolic attempts to think about the effect of time on the actions of the present. These are individual works but are placed in the space in such a way as to create an environment that rewards time and attention and changes when viewed/heard from different positions.”
A series of small delicate drawings on cotton rag paper detail what look like coffee cup rings, but in fact stem from a performance piece where Cluett repeated a circle 100 times. A natural form through a manmade act becomes mechanical – a metaphor for the water cycle, the life cycle, the eye – repeating and retracing itself. It is reminiscent of Sol LeWitt’s instructional patterning or Richard Long’s looped walks and stone circles, which seek to bring structure to the unstructured natural landscape. Cluett here presents the same themes through pared-down technology and aesthetics with audio and film.
This show is a chamber of sounds and silences, retreating from the bustle of the street to a seclusion of subtle undertones, tracking and tracing invisible movements and the unrelenting ephemeral momentum of nature.
Sarah Sze’s current multi-room installation at the Fabric Workshop and Museum in Philadelphia is the culmination of a five-month residency there. The artist is known for her site-specific work, which engages directly with its architectural setting, using mundane materials ranging from steel ladders to white pills, to create intricate pieces that play with the limits of sculpture.
Nostalgic for the Future
We are at the Lisson Gallery, London, to see the group exhibition Nostalgic for the Future, shown earlier this year in Sao Paulo, Brazil. This newly configured exhibition displays works by 16 different artists, celebrating the multigenerational programme of the gallery, from the 1960s to the present day.
Patricia Johanson: The World as a Work of Art
The landscape artist and architect Patricia Johanson (b1940) occupies a unique position in her chosen field in the United States. This talent is now well exhibited at the Museum Het Domein in the Netherlands.
Richard Long: Heaven and Water
There is a seeming antithesis between the realities of an invasive ‘Time Team’ archaeological intervention at Stonehenge (as witnessed at the end of May on UK TV) and the gently caressing manner in which Richard Long’s works address the English landscape, and indeed the planetary land mass. He too denotes these in terms of stone circles, rocks, or pathways gently laid on the surface, always on the surface. How would Astronaut Long have visited the lunar surface?
Richard Long: Walking and Marking
The National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA) in Edinburgh, in time for the Edinburgh Festival 2007, is currently staging an outstanding recent retrospective exhibition on Richard Long. There is a curious irony here: never has Long's work been so superbly exhibited anywhere, as in the NGMA's present building - this neo-classical Schinkelesque mid-l9th Century former school building.