Re/image/in Circles (revised)

Re/image/in Circles, reimagine circles, reimagine mediocre artistic over-convolution. Re/image/in Circles is a combinative exhibit by Columbia College Students who are involved in the college’s “Technology of the Circle” course … whatever that means. The exhibit features annoyingly abstract print work, standard photo shop, and visual performance hinting to a relationship between them. Upon entering the exhibit the works seem unfinished bordering vapid creativity, and as I continued through empty room,in the northeast corner on the first floor of 33 E Congress, the words over complicated and sporadic added to the list.

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“Through the use of live performance paired with video projections, Re/image/in Circles investigates physical questions such as how we can extend ourselves through one another, how the human body can be leveraged as a technology, and how the tactile becomes the visual.”

In the North East corner of the first floor in 33 E Congress from April 4th to May 3rd you will have the opportunity to experience this sensory exhibit for yourself although you may be the only one. Through the many times I pass this room on the way to the elevators in the buildings, I have never seen a person in this exhibit. Upon entering the room you are greeted by a huge block of text describing the exhibit and its intention, leaving no room for inquiry by the audience. The exhibit begins with digital prints of an actual dancer and laser like beams of lights by Ryan Mallegni, throughout the exhibit we see this theme reoccurred in small-disconnected pieces until finally we see the final work strategically spliced together to form a conjunctive piece, which is a tad redundant. Braulio Martinez created a nice photo shopped piece entitled “smoke screen” which featured a dancer manipulated into smooth, detailed trails of smoke that sort of create a time lapse photography effect which proved to be the most visually pleasing piece of the entire show.

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Understanding that the concept of this piece is the connection between visual performance and the decisions behind it, these pieces find new meaning in an otherwise boring exhibition. However the execution of the work within the space may have been what was lacking. There was an interactive touch screen piece (entitled Verve Cosmogram) that when you touch the screen, little to nothing happens. The soundscape, designed by Nelson and Rory McSweeny, coming from above was abruptly loud and over compensating at times especially because it was motion activated. Also, if you are viewing the exhibit during the day time it is hard to see the projected “Light Emitting Dancers (LED)” a piece by Andrew Smith and Graham Heath as well as the silhouette box stationed at the end of the exhibit featuring a tall white box I am assuming should project the viewers silhouette  onto the white screen in front of them. I could not tell if the silhouette was supposed to be seen from the opposite side of the screen by other audience members…because there weren’t any. All in all there is nothing to be gained or lost by visiting this exhibit, just confusion, loneliness and over complication.

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Dancers:

Margaret Bouffard, Sarah Bunker, Ariel Huffman, Megan Pavelka, Luis Segoviano, Christopher Smith

Artists:

Graham Heath, Jo Hickey, Kris Kuta, Ryan Mallegni, Braulio Martinez, Rory McSweeny, Devon Nelson, Asako Oishi, Andrew Smith, Truman Smurr

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Posted on April 14, 2013, in Per Scuola. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. reichertpowell

    This strikes me as a very confident review. You’ve taken on a complicated, multisensory installation and done a pretty good job getting across the odd experience. I really like the restraint you showed with the first person; you don’t let this whole thing turn into the story of your visit, but stayed focused on the art.

    I kinda wish you had a stronger closing: “The art was a delight as well as the presentation and organization of the exhibit,” is pretty mild and vague as an evaluation of something so complex. Surely it does more than just delight? It -teaches- you something? This is the kind of sentence where a slight tuneup can really have an impact–not more words, but more detailed words.

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