Portland art blog + news + exhibition reviews + galleries + contemporary northwest art

recent entries

Resist: Inauguration at Una Gallery
Early February links
First Thursday Picks February 2017
Dead tree media & dead horse flogging news
Post Snowpocalypse Weekend Picks
More Disjecta'd
New Year opportunities
Monday Integrity Links
First Thursday Picks January 2017
Jason Berlin + Alanna Risse at Rainmaker
Saying goodby to 2016
Mid December Links

recent comments

categories

 

Book Review
Calls for Artists
Design Review
Essays
Interviews
News
Openings & Events
Photoblogs
Reviews
Video
Links
About PORT

regular contributors

 

Tori Abernathy
Amy Bernstein
Katherine Bovee
Emily Cappa
Patrick Collier
Arcy Douglass
Megan Driscoll
Jesse Hayward
Sarah Henderson
Jeff Jahn
Kelly Kutchko
Drew Lenihan
Victor Maldonado
Christopher Moon
Jascha Owens
Alex Rauch
Gary Wiseman

archives

 

Guest Contributors
Past Contributors
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005

contact us

 

Contact us

search

 


syndicate

 

Atom
RSS

powered by

 

Movable Type 3.16

This site is licensed under a

 

Creative Commons License

Tuesday 08.17.10

« The Essentials, a discussion | Main | Art Spark: TBA:10 »

Kelly Rauer's Shaping Sequence at NAAU

"There is a point where in the mystery of existence contradictions meet; where movement is not all movement and stillness is not all stillness; where the idea and the form, the within and the without, are united; where infinite becomes finite, yet not" - Rabindranath Tagore (Nobel Prize for literature 1913)

kellyR1_sm.gif
Kelly Rauer's Shaping Sequence at NAAU

Consisting of numerous videos of isolated slow moving body parts Kelly Rauer's Shaping Sequence at NAAU is a fleshy tribute to kandinsky's compositional technique of having convexities answering concavities. It's even more even more obviously related to Georgia O'Keeffe, another Kandinskyite. Even more related is the work of O'Keefe's husband, Alfred Steieglitz, whose incredibly loaded photos of O'Keefe's hands set up a dialogocal art historical conversation between both photography and video art here. In fact Shaping Sequence acts quite a bit more like an installation of photographs rather than a single video piece or a dance performance.

stieglitz-thimble-and-hands.jpg
Alfred Stieglitz, Thimble and Hands

Still it lacks the drama of Stieglitz or Mapplethorpe and maybe it's more in the droll ilk of Fischli and Weiss's Busi (Kitty) lapping up milk?

Mapplelthorpe3.jpg
Robert Mapplethorpe, Derrick Cross, 1983. Gelatin silver print, 20 x 16 in.
Grey Art Gallery and Fales Library, New York University Art Collection. Gift of Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation


Still, Rauer's piece is essentially deconstructed choreography though without the otherworldly polish of a strong professional dancer. Instead (because it utilizes only the artist) its effect is more informal and familiar, like a sun filled Sunday morning in bed with a lover or perhaps a mother nursing a child. Also, instead of the often dehumanizing effect of deconstruction it has the interesting effect of multiplying the humanistic inferences. On a technical level It doesn't have Martha Graham's focus on contraction and release either, so it doesn't have the tension of modern dance. This can put some viewers off who have been groomed for entertainment and shaping sequence is a lot more like observing sand dunes than a performance.

lam.jpg
Martha Graham's Lamentation by Barbara Morgan

The fact that it's more akin to landscape photography also underscores the well tamed technical component of the piece. The 3 channel video piece is streaming uncompressed video off of hard drives rather than the digital artifact laden compromise of using inferior DVD's as a playback material. This is very important since the large areas of negative space here would look like they were infested with blurry digital maggots if a DVD were used. The fact that Rauer has done something technically demanding without calling much attention to the fact is a testament to the exhibition. It's what I expect from any video installation artist, never let the geeky technology component override the heuristic experience.

Gordon_play_Dead.jpg
Douglas Gordaon's Play Dead: Real Time (2003) at Gagosian Gallery in Chelsea

The work is most reminiscent of Douglas Gordon's Play Dead: Real Time, which featured the fleshy expanse of a slow moving Indian Elephant... though Shaping Sequence lacks his wit, technical command and kinesthetic mastery. There is room for Rauer to grow still and Gordon is at the forefront.

KellyR3_sm.gif
Kelly Rauer's Shaping Sequence at NAAU


That critique withstanding, Shaping Sequence is one of the strongest solo shows up this month of uninspired group shows. Still, I wonder how Rauer can further develop these ideas without resorting to gimmicks or using professional dancers, which would obliterate some of Shaping Sequence's charm? Then again watching an artist develop is half the process by which they are measured.

In this case Shaping Sequence is a break out show for Kelly Rauer, who in the past merely showed promise. For example, last year's installation at Manor of Art tacked on additional installation elements that hamstrung the whole effect of the otherwise competent if somewhat academic video piece. It's was a BFA level mistake but suddenly Rauer isn’t making them anymore. In fact Shaping Sequence is a solid, even inspired show by anyone's standards with a quiet hard won maturity you don't see from recent MFA grads either.

In short Shaping Sequence doesn't look so “art school” like it once did... the question is, can she find a more original angle to continue the momentum of this show?



Through September 19th 2010

Posted by Jeff Jahn on August 17, 2010 at 13:48 | Comments (0)


Comments

Post a comment

Thanks for signing in, . Now you can comment. (sign out)

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)


Remember me?


s p o n s o r s
Site Design: Jennifer Armbrust   •   Site Development: Philippe Blanc & Katherine Bovee