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Sunday, March 23, 2008

Altered Space: 21st Century Installation Art

If you get a chance, I highly recommend seeing this exhibit at the FAC Modern located in the Plaza of the Rockies in downtown Colorado Springs. It’s a small exhibit of just 3 installations but each one has its own dedicated room. All 3 artists are from this region.

Christina Marsh – Colorado College


For a room with nothing more than a photo album lying on a chair, stacks of clothes in one corner, a pile of luggage in the center of the room, an antique side table with a silver tea set and a wall full of various empty white picture frames, this was quite a moving experience. It’s all about transition and moving on with your life while staying anchored to your roots. This hit home with me since my family is in the Texas/Oklahoma area and Evelyn’s is in New Jersey.

The wall of picture frames stuck with me the most. I instantly imagined them filled with pictures of family and friends. But when you go, look closer at the frames. They just aren’t any old frames. Stand directly in front of them and take a deep breath. Think about it and you’ll recognize the scent. They are all made from white chocolate.

During the day, the frames are heated by the lights shining on them. At night, they cool off. The results are that they are constantly changing. They sag and change shapes a little more each day. This just drove home the fact that our lives are forever in transition and changing due to external factors we might not even notice or that we take for granted.

Matt Barton – UCCS


This was quite interesting as well. This is the artist conception of a post-apocalyptic world. Instead of the Hollywood idea of utter chaos and destruction, this installation projects a sense of calm, peace and rebirth. You can actually walk into and around this exhibit. Take a walk over to the makeshift shelter and look inside. Now, turn around and you find yourself immersed in the exhibit as if you were really out in the wild trying to start over again. It was really a strange sensation.

Gwen Laine – Denver’s Carson Gallery


Although a great installation, I have to admit that that I understood this one the least. Like the other installations, this was also about change. It is a room full of transparent prints of hands suspended from helium filled Mylar balloons. The slightest breeze will make the prints spin and move. Also as time goes on the balloons will begin to lose their buoyancy and sink. This will cause the prints to stack on top of each other creating a multi-layered picture of hands.

Overall, this was an excellent exhibit and I would recommend it to anyone. The experience of being able to walk around the rooms and be totally submersed in the installation is incredible. The exhibit runs through April 26, 2008.

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