Victory over the Sun: Between the Moon and Sea

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Museum of Contemporary Art Denver: Another Victory Over the Sun
June 9, 2011 - August 21, 2011

MoonSea.jpgVictory over the Sun is the title of a 1913 Russian opera. Another Victory over the Sun is the name of the summer exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Denver.

What this metaphor means is debatable. It may be that the Futurists, soon to be Russian Constructivists, who produced the opera in St. Petersburg were defying the established order of high fine art and asserting that emotional intelligence is more powerful than rationality, which their predecessors valued. A victory of instinctual man over shiny, old rational man.

Maybe the works in this new Victory will shed light on the debate.

Take Between the Moon and the Sea by Spencer Finch.  A simple wooden dock is built in a large gallery.  A wide, but shallow black structure holds water on the floor and a lit, stitched ball plays the moon, hanging from the not-too-disguised ceiling.  In this space, one is invited to contemplate the moon and sea, as we are told is a Japanese custom.

MoonSeaDetail.jpgThere's a similar Colorado tradition: to stare at the moon and the stars far away from city lights. Going on a moonlight ski is a way to do this and snow provides the other surface like the sea. Shutting out the sun, like a non-electric camper's nighttime, does draw attention to the remaining light and this created dock-in-a-dark-gallery is a pleasant reminder of the revelations that come with a simple act of contemplating the moon.  

Contemporary art, after Pop Art, sometimes seems so much about pop and so little about what really flows deep. If that's what the Futurists where thinking was emotional intelligence as opposed to the rational world of worrying about paying the bills and making our e-mail work, then I think they were on to something.

To read more about this show, see Personal Victory.

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This page contains a single entry by terry published on June 10, 2011 1:17 PM.

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