Sunday, November 22, 2009

Arlington Arts Center - GRACE

This week I had a chance to drop by Doug Moulden's acrylic and plaster on plywood wall sculpture show at Greater Reston Arts Center and IMAGE/PROJECT, a photography and video show curated by Taryn Simon at the Arlington Arts Center.

Doug Moulden makes empty landscapes so the viewer can insert herself into the scene. To me, the work feels like tapestries on the wall. They appear soft and as though they were draped on the wall. The effect of many layers of acyrlic ink was pleasingly impressionistic and invited the touch.

Leslie Awender's photography is striking. She has 5 works related works, her Red Earth series, in this show. They invite comparison and kept me coming back to observe their details more closely.

Alma Leiva's work is a reminder of the power and manipulative quality of photographs. She documents in her videos the violence in Honduras.

Upstairs is new work by resident artist Jill Romanoke. Her kimono-like hanging system for her double-sided drawings is very successful, drawing me all the way around the work and encouraging appreciation of the prints on translucent paper created both in Maine and here in Arlington.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

1050 K Light Box Gallery

Monday flyby: the hallway galleries in the gorgeous new building at 1050 K Street, NW (designed by Hickok Cole Architects.) Check out the lobby light box currently featuring Ezra Stoller's photographs of "Man in the Machine". The light box was included early in the building design process, because the client wanted to tie the building together with artwork.

rainy day chocolate

"I'm done with the rainy, cold, and wet part of my day. Now I'm in the warm and dry part of my day. I'll be in the chocolate shop the rest of the evening."

Try Robert's new Lavender Shiraz.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Track housing

When is a house not a home? Take a look at the works of Etienne Bossut and John Kormeling.

Sculptural Caesar Salad

Last night, a crisp cool, quick-walking sort of evening was the invigorating backdrop to the crowded First Friday scene in Dupont Circle/14th Street areas. My fly-bys included Hillyer for Martha Jarvis Jackson's, "Ass Against the Wall", (2) WPA for Minna Nathanson and Joan Belmar's Coup d'Espace, "Influence = Convergence", (3) Smith Farm for Dulce Pinzon's "The Real Story of SuperHeroes", Congrats to Brooke Seidelman, on her job as new Gallery Directory, (4) Project4 for Laurel Lukaszewski's solo, "Once," and (5) Creme Cafe for a bite to eat with Ani and Dave.

"Superheroes" was thought-provoking, asking me to compare immigrant workers in generic jobs (from nanny to cook to prostitute) who are sending home a significant amount of their weekly wages back home. I was struck by the obvious, but no less poignant: How hard they must each work. How different their culture is that they choose not to spend their money on material goods, but on making their families' lives better.

"Once" is beautiful. Laurel presents clay cherry blossoms floating all over the space, evoking April in November.

"Ass" is a cool installation piece featuring a Tadjikistanian donkey, wood + ?. That donkey photo on silk is compelling, grounding. The crowd was too large to allow a complete viewing; the show needs a return visit.

"Convergence" is the effect of two artists' sharing studio space for a couple of years. For me this show is all about the delight and concern. It's delightful that another person can inspire you. Maintaining your own voice is a concern.

Creme Cafe served Ani, Dave and me some good food in a too-noisy atmosphere. They (Creme Cafe, though not to take anything away from Ani & Dave) have a good sense of humor. They're willing not to tell you what's in the vegetable platter which enticed us to order it and be wowed. They managed to make the humble Caesar salad look sculptural.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Gestural Electricity

Tod Machover, from MIT's The Media Laboratory, created instruments and software that are helping people to create music. It's a magical combination of electrical stimuli and interactivity in the case of the Beatbugs and Shapers. The instruments measure sound, muscular movements and electrical current from the body to create music in response to the player's feedback. It seems improvisational. Gestural electricity is the essence of the Hyperchair. Penn n Teller were involved in the development of the Hyperchair, which happens to look like a magic prop, actually.

Learned that some researcher has discovered that simple repetition of singing songs to a stroke sufferer does nothing to help regain speech. Melodic Intonation Therapy uses half-tone variations and percussive movements to help retrain the brain in speech. No wonder so frustrating results-wise, but at least a humane, connective act.

The Hyperscore requires only the ability to read and draw a line. I was struck by Machover's comment at Carnegie Institute tonight that kids under 8 yrs and older folks over 70 yrs were most responsive (creative?) with the instruments. The Brain Opera, an interactive music creation experience using both these instruments and software resides in Vienna, Austria. Now I need a residency in Vienna!