Kate Gilmore's work defies the American expression "Never let them see you sweat." Instead, she puts struggle at center stage in her performance-based video works. Masquerading as hyperfeminine in heels, frilly dresses, and copious makeup, the New York-based artist (currently living in Italy as the recipient of a Rome Prize) constructs and faces off against elaborate obstacles, ultimately making a statement about the struggles faced by women. Interestingly, however, Gilmore has made her own bed, in each of these scenarios--but refuse to lay in them. Instead, she displays equal parts strength and humility as she attempts to ascend the mountains of junk she builds, or to navigate the otherwise precarious, emotionally-marked spaces of her own design. Gilmore will be showing recent and new works in two upcoming solo shows, both opening January 31st, at San Antonio's Artpace and Madrid's Maisterra Valbuena, respectively. In each of these works, the artist continues to flesh-out questions about the relationship between fame, talent, and emotional satisfaction. In 2005 she kept her chin up in With Open Arms, a video in which a dolled-up Gilmore bowed graciously to a tomato-throwing audience. In the more recent Baby, Belong to Me (2006/07), we see the artist's foot, wrapped in a ballerina slipper and suspended by a noose which one of her hands works to untie. In the background are stenciled hearts, bleeding paint at their nadirs. The addition of a song from the musical Fame creates a narrative about an emerging artist struggling to reconcile the desire for love and success. Like so many of her works, this piece is a perfectly concise visual representation of what it means to feel upside-down in this topsy turvy world. - Marisa Olson
Artists and curators are increasingly using a range of technologies to document global warming's rapid transformation of the planet. Painter Joy Garnett's blog StrangeWeather.info and Shane Brennan's curated weblog New Climates both provide a clearing-house for information about art projects related to environmental issues. This past fall, non-profit organization Electronic Music Foundation's environmental sound art festival Ear to the Earth brought together artists and musicians from the world over to produce and show projects on the subject. Undeniably, the art community is acting in response to an ever-greater urgency to acknowledge and appreciate the fleeting visual and audio experiences of the natural world. For years, digital media artist Andrea Polli has centered her practice around environmental concerns with such projects as Airlight Taipei (2006) and Atmospherics/Weather Works (2004) (included in the Rhizome Artbase). During December and January, Polli traveled to Antarctica to capture the quickly disappearing beauty of the region through sound and video. The trip is a residency funded by the National Science Foundation Antarctic Artists and Writers Program, and it will allow her to work alongside the scientists from the McMurdo Dry Valleys Long Term Ecological Research Project. Polli created the blog 90degreesesouth.org to report and share her recordings and reflections. Visitors to the site can listen to Polli's field recordings of melting glaciers and icebergs, as well as take in a number of instructive audio interviews with notable climatologists and meteorologists, such as co-recipient of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize Dr. Andreas Fischlin, meteorologist Dr. Matt Lazzara of University of Wisconsin, Dr. Rick Aster, among many others. 90degreessouth.org provides a rare and informative artist's perspective on the day-to-day activities of scientists working in a spectacular and often strenuous environment. - Ceci Moss
The term "manipulation" comes to mind when discussing the vast and varied practice of artists LoVid (Tali Hinkis and Kyle Lapidus). For years now, the duo have created an impressive, diverse body of handcrafted video work, spanning from performances, installations and tapestries to sophisticated image processors. Their creative image and sound distortion is deeply informed by the work of a previous generation of video artists, not only luminaries like Nam June Paik and Steina and Woody Vasulka, but also the lesser known creators of image processors and synthesizers such as Dan Sandin (of the Sandin Image Processor) and Dave Jones. This influence is pronounced in LoVid's wearable image processor Coat of Embrace and pseudo minimalist sculptural instruments such as Sync Armonica. In their most recent work, a Turbulence Networked_Music_Review commission, Hinkis and Lapidus took a new approach to manipulation. Rather than create an elaborate machine from scratch, they transformed the physical constraints of the web and a home computer into a vehicle for distortion. More of the Same (2007) starts simply enough: a single pop up window, a photograph of the artists and their broken laptop, and a few lines of dialogue, ("What's up with this computer? Is it the browser? The connection?")- and from there multiplies exponentially with each successive pop up window. Window #1 loads one image and one audio file, window #2 multiplies the image and loads the audio twice, and on and on until your computer is simultaneously trying to load 514 audio files to sometimes cacophonic, sometimes eerily silent ends. Don't worry about your processor, the artists give thoughtful instructions to avoid any serious computer crashes. - Caitlin Jones
The next program in Rhizome's New Silent Series at the New Museum, Continuing Education for Dead Adults presents three multi-media performances that riff off youth pop culture and its long-term consequences. East Coast collective Paper Rad premieres new videos, including Problem Solvers (20 min, 2008) and a short entitled crank dat spongebob batman dropdead robocop (3 min, 2008) which, in the group's words, is a "3-minute terror-ride through the online world of youtube show-offs." New York artist Ben Coonley presents a new performance entitled Kindred Spirits is the Working Title, (15 min, 2008) and Providence-based experimental band Wizardzz (featuring members of Lightning Bolt) will perform in front of a mesmeric animated tapestry. Tickets available here.
Friday, Jan. 11, 7:00 PM
the New Museum, New York, NY
$8 general public, $6 Members (Rhizome and New Museum)
The symbolically powerful and emotional practice of New Zealand-born, London-based artist Nicholas Tayler has greatly impacted the British art scene. His work, once described as a 'mythical vision' of the world, explores the irrational dimensions of human experience. Presented by London's ICA, The Parallels Almanac is Tayler's latest online project. The piece takes the form of a pre-enlightenment almanac, equally comprised of both conjecture and established knowledge, in order to tell the Maori warrior tale "Kupe and the Whale". An uncanny and multi-layered universe to itself, the site is a complex network of film, photography, drawing, text, and audio accessed via charts. The user uncovers the storyline for "Kupe and the Whale" through navigation of the site's manifold areas, which present various items such as photographs of traditional ritual knives, audio commentary by Tayler, and textual definitions of terms like "global architectures". By pairing scientific methodology with speculative mysticism, The Parallels Almanac is a perceptive allegory for the present day search for the metaphysical in an anxious and confusing post- 9/11 world. - Miguel Amado