Installations Inside/Out

posted by on 2009.10.14, under art, review

So, about a month ago Michele and I went up to the Armory Center for the Arts in Pasadena to check out their 20th anniversary show, Installations Inside/Out. For the show, they have works in all their spaces as well as in public locations around the city. We had already seen the Bruce Nauman skywriting project, which was a part of the show and was documented in the gallery (and see my video/photos in an earlier post), but we have yet to catch the rest of the works they have scattered around Pasadena. While the title implies it’s a show of installation art, not all the work was installation or site specific, like the Rushca painting greeting you upon entry or the large wall-hung pieces. The Caldwell Gallery show drew from artists from the Armory’s exhibition history and included striking works from Pae White and Kim Abeles with Ken Marchionno.

Abeles and Marchionno presented a room wallpapered with cartoonish trompe l’oeil drawings and inset videos to create room-scapes with views out, detailing how Native Americans are viewed by contemporary culture. The graphics and videos were compellingly integrated to develop mediated rooms, small settings that referred to both an interior and a view beyond. I was really into the technique of integrating the videos as both elements of the wallpaper and images in frames – check the photos to see what I am talking about. The objects in the drawings are life size, and the piece wraps all sides of a small room off the main gallery space.

Pae White’s large tapestry works dominated the central space of the gallery. Facing each other and taking up a whole wall each, their banal subject matter (smoke, and crinkled mylar or tinfoil) became large scale murals. A closer look revealed the weaving technology involved, and the patterns up close are digital/analogue hybrid abstractions literally woven from threads as the process used translated image into weave to create the fabric.

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