October 22, 2010

Site Santa Fe: "The Dissolve"

Day after I got back from NYC, I & the sig. other drove to NM. My main objective was Site Santa Fe's biennial, The Dissolve, which is all video.

As I understood from one of the many guides at the facility (ca. 2.3 per visitor), curators Sarah Lewis and Daniel Belasco worked with architect David Adjaye to design an exhibition divided into three sections, with dark, gray-blue, -green, and -red walls and scrims respectively (think RGB). The sections were meant to organize the works roughly according to stages in the exploration and historical development of video as a fine art technology (although each section includes videos of various vintages). While I'm not sure I totally got the curators' thinking on that point, I thought the dissolve theme was well-chosen; and the installation was exceptional, given the challenges of showing video in a space not at all designed for it.

I was also told the curators deliberately included only work by artists whose primary media were NOT video. This seemed a little unfair to the early adopters of video as their main medium but perhaps emphasizes to any remaining doubters that even your favorite painters, sculptors, et al. have turned to it.

I'd seen some of the works before; nonetheless, it was "a banquet to me." Some favorites:

The Dissolve runs through Jan. 2, 2011; well worth the trip. The website's great, too, with lots of clips.

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