Thursday, June 6, 2013

New Mexico Museum of Art shows great stuff!

There are several good shows at the New Mexico Museum of Art in Santa Fe. I enjoyed their take on "14,000 years of art in NM." From arrowheads to atomic bombs and beyond.

Photographer William Clift has been a long-time favorite of mine, so it was especially nice to chance upon a show of his work that combines two curiously synchronous bodies of work: Shiprock and Mont St. Michel.

CliffWVolcanicDike.jpgShiprock, above, is a natural volcanic formation in New Mexico. Mont St. Michel, below, is the medieval monastery on an island off the coast of France. Fascinating how harmoniously the man-made structure mimics the rugged erosion of the volcano.

There's a small show of Georgia O'Keeffe's paintings, too. I enjoyed seeing a couple that were new to me.

However, of the 5 concurrent shows there my favorite was video art by Peter Sarkisian. Huge show, took up the entire second floor of the museum. One of the more unusual features of his work is the fact that the video is usually projected onto a three dimensional object or surface.

Some are fairly simple. An open dictionary lies on a pedestal (real, 3-D book). The video is of a little man who crawls out of the gutter of the open page and begins to edit and scribble comments on the text of the page.

Others are incredibly complex. One takes up an entire room and requires 5 projectors. A cube sits in the center of the room. Video is projected onto all 5 visible surfaces of the cube. It depicts a nude couple who seem to be contained within the cube. They crawl around each other in the confined space.

Video, of course, isn't as effective without the video (duh!), so I encourage you to go to Sarkisian's website and watch a few.Don't miss the one where the guy crawls out of the spilled ink and rolls around on the desktop. In the museum the ink bottle and pad of paper are real, but the video on the website does a good job of reproducing the effect.

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