Animated Pictures SITE Biennial 2010

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SITE Santa Fe Biennial 2010 is all video.
June 20, 2010... Santa Fe, NM

rain2.jpgSITE Biennials make this warehouse space feel small. SITE, a big, contemporary art exhibition space at the corner of Guadeloupe and Paseo de Peralta in Santa Fe is now taking advantage of the fourth dimension in order to accommodate the 2010 biennial. And for every piece included, there seem to be infinite variations.

To see thirty images, walk through the show at a normal pace. Then, walk through again and see another 30. Entertaining yourself is easy. See the image on the right? It's rain falling.

Here's another simple pleasure, if you just have a few minutes. Watch the Oscar Munoz' piece, where a video camera runs while someone draws a face on concrete with a wet brush. The drawing evaporates before it can be completed and the image's expression on the screen changes as parts disappear and are redrawn. Sometimes we forget that it is in the processes of being drawn, but we can see the hand. And it's moving as fast as it can.
Site-Munoz.jpgAt right,Oscar Muñoz, Re/trato, 2003. 
The setting is mesmerizing, and was created by David Adjaye, the architect who designed the Museum of Contemporary Art, in Denver. Black and white images flicker in what feels like a red room. A circle of always-different images is draped in a green room. Sound is coming in from above, isolated for just the viewers/listeners standing below it.

In this biennial, the curators, Sarah Lewis and Daniel Belasco, incorporated a brief overview of the history of film and video from a 'aaahhh' kind of perspective. Every piece, new and old, they said, has 'that something special' and although they were as vague as the word 'aaaahh' about what that was, each piece made sure to show the human at work behind the technology. Aaaa-haaa..

SITE is a closed box, and can be intimidating to people uninitiated to it. In the past, I've passed through a gauntlet of weird sculptural debris, or had to walk in without any idea of how to find the door, but somehow for this show's opening, the grounds outside are decorated with groups of people talking about the work -- almost a film fest atmosphere without the celebrity hype. The darkness of the big space, at first, makes this show seem too difficult for an average Joe to understand. But when you ask anyone coming out of the space what they saw, what they thought ... you get a self surprised, 'it was cool.'
But to really look, is consuming. So, I'm going to go outside now and talk to some people about it. Back, soon.

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This page contains a single entry by terry published on June 23, 2010 4:42 PM.

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