"Unseen Lines" text detail (c) Dianne Bowen
Drawing is like taking a line out for a dance, sometimes it's a heavy metal slam dance, sometimes it's as structured as a waltz, and sometimes it's a virgina reel and I'm just switching hands and partners, pencil, paint, paper, film...

An artist's journey making sense of the world through art, language and conversation.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Sit Back And Get Comfortable, This Will Take Awhile…

Original Review: January, 9, 2008
By Dianne Bowen

Back Side
A collaborative exhibition featuring:
Chris Coffin, Michelle Jaffe', Kristine Robinson, Chris Walsh

45-46 21st Street second floor
Long Island City, NY 11101

Exhibition opening: Sat. Jan 5th 3:00pm to 6:00pm

Image courtesy of  Chris Coffin

Sit Back And Get Comfortable, This Will Take Awhile…

 In an age of one minute to feel anything, sound byte moments, and short attention spans, artist Chris Coffin's (sound component by Jeremy Slater) DVD and sound installation Hudson River Bump and Grind, does not adhere to the notion that the public is said to only spend five minutes viewing a work of art. Coffin's piece is quite the contrary requiring your attention with all senses ready… Sit back and get comfortable, this will take awhile…

The black and white video of frozen ice on the Hudson River moves from large over view angles to close up shots of particular pieces. Large broken forms of ice become abstract, bumping up against each other from the natural rhythm of water. In a macro view they are a collective of shapes reminiscent of cells, or a carapace protecting the fluid underneath. It is as if you're watching something so tremendous it is impossible for the human mind to comprehend its scale. An ancient guardian of the ocean we're observing breathing, watching back and waiting for something we are not privy to occur. Moving slowly into close up shots of individual sections, the bumping and grinding against each other take on "living" characteristics; nudging, sliding, flickering lines of light surrounding the forms where the water catches light are a silent communication. An alien pattern seemingly rooted in mathematics or musical composition. The nervous system or brain’s electrical flickering also comes to mind. Natural sounds of the environment surround you. Wind, water flowing and lapping up against the ice forms, crackling sounds repeat. You're moving ever closer as the view becomes two forms. Their edges rounded by centuries of movement, your sense of time slows down, and you’re in a prehistoric realm observing the earth shift. One piece, bobbing in the water, nudging the other as if it is its soul mate appears tender and lamenting. The second form appears still, floating in the water, life-less. They are like a pair of large orca’s or hump back whales, in the vast ocean, and you are a voyeur within the most private intimate moment between them, hoping for the forms to somehow connect. The depth of the water, smaller piece’s submerge, their weight and thickness throw you off kilter, questioning, contemplating the relationship and responsibility between human-kind, the environment and the universe itself. After a deep breath, I emerge from the dark, small room into the bright expanse of the warehouse space, changed, affected, emotions laid bare.

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