ANNE EASTMAN – ‘MOBILES’
MAY 8 – JUNE 13, 2009
ATM GALLERY – 621 West 27th St – CHELSEA – NYC
HRS: TUES-SAT 11-6 PM
ok. so this show was really hard to call. I had to really think about it. I needed clues.
it was either so cutting edge – it was going right over my head – or – it was the Emperor who wore no clothes.
the first clue. the card (above).
this card is like the joker in the deck. its an ALICE IN WONDERLAND-like tiny metaphor door into the show. it is a cardboard image with a very matte finish. the images aren’t high focus. the faces are ancient, they are clay. but they have an archival ancient golden glow, a patina . . a history. a sadness. a story. it’s not about you. you can’t quite read the ‘mobile’, yet, until you’ve seen the show – its the light blue disk at the top … there’s actually 2 mobile disks – side-by-side – the other has half a face on its moon-like surface.
if this card is – not about you. . . the show itself is: it’s quite the opposite . . you go through this tiny earthly matte opaque paper door image of an old even ancient clay face – into a room full of open spaces, light & reflection. refraction. it is about you. as you move. as you get reflected as you move about.
if the card is about clay – then, the show is – all about – light – PRISM LIGHT . . .
the 2nd clue came when I found out, about a week later, though pure chance – that Anne is half-American/half-Japanese. even though she has western eyes. when you start to look for it – you can see her heritage in her face.
apparently, she spent a lot of time in both cultures and actual geographies – growing up.
thus: even though she has western eyes and advanced American art school knowledge – she has eastern instincts.
her work comes at you sideways. you have to re-adjust for this nuance.
it was like she spoke with an ancient voice, of an old culture. as opposed to the brash, sometimes too-young, too-bright voice of the new Americans.
I wonder what her zodiac sign is. I bet its towards the end of the evolutionary cycle – as opposed to lets say an AIRES, right at the beginning, and with the voice of an amazed toddler.
so, slowly you get to perceive other dimensions. pick up more subtle signals. it’s another doorway. this one made of shiny glass mirrors and refractive shimmery plexi. its a very light-handed visual experience. nothing is still. nothing is fixed.
where nothing is definite – or ancient – like clay.
that’s about as best, as I can explain it. in words. very cutting edge. let’s see who gets it !!
it was also extremely interesting to see this show in the same month, in fact maybe the same week !! as the one day
GEORGIA GRAY and JORY RABINOVITZ outdoor sculpture show at PETER COOPER SQ.
both shows equally light-handed, in materials & format – yet profoundly diverse in concept.
all 3 young artists – products of serious studio art programs, associated with NYC.
Anne received her MFA from YALE in 2006.
Georgia Gray and Jory Rabinovitz – are currently in the sculpture BFA program at COOPER UNION.
PHOTOS: NANCY SMITH
UP-DATE: FRI MAY 29, 2009 – still can’t keep thinking about the show.
enough with the polemics. the poles of east and west. the poles of oblique, opaque and reflection.
the poles of ancient and immediate. the poles of being and not being. solid and transitory.
deep thoughts. light touch.
there was an utmost edge. of strangeness, newness and grace.
ANNE EASTMAN, ‘HARLEQUIN’, 2009.
Mirror Mobile, wood frame, stretched fabric. 15-3/4 x 15-3/4 x 15-3/4 in.
ANNE EASTMAN – ‘To Do With As We Like’, 2009.
Iridescent plexi mobile (5-7/8 in. diameter), 24 x 24 x 24 in. wooden frame on wood base.
there, or not there ? depends where you are standing !!
ANNE EASTMAN, ‘That Temporal Pull’, 2009.
22 in. Diameter Glass mirror, 72 x 27-1/2 x 27-1/2 in. wooden frame.
in the back room:
ANNE EASTMAN, “Soon After We Can See, We Are Aware That We Can Also Be Seen’, 2009.
Glass Mirror Mobile (Four 10 in. diameter double-sided mirrors), 2 fabric panels.
back in the main gallery. the eerie light was cast from the video loop.
ANNE EASTMAN – ‘HARLEQUIN’, seen from a different angle !!
looks totally different on the wall.
that’s ‘Harlequin’, again !! to the right.
on one wall, even more surface contradictory – a video beam.
ANNE EASTMAN -‘The Intention Of The Device’, 2009. 30 min. single channel video. no sound.
Anne was able to get permission to place her mobiles into an archaeology museum, I believe this one was at Yale, to film.
PHOTOS: NANCY SMITH
UP-DATE: JULY 28, 2009
I’ve had time to think on this one a little bit more, it just doesn’t let go – its simplicity belies its utmost beauty . . . and looking back – its shaping up to be one of my most fav shows of last season. its the one that almost got away. it really caught something inexpressible about the times, and its too bad – it flew over the heads of most people in the mainstream, esp those at NEW YORK MAG. I think mostly because it was so low-fi and yet so zen-like in its profoundness, at the same time, if that makes any sense ?
ANNE EASTMAN at the opening. MAY 8, 2009.
a few more photos from the installation – on like my 4th !! visit back !!
PHOTOS: NANCY SMITH