THE CALCULUS OF TRANSFIGURATION
MEANING, FORM AND PROCESS IN LATE 20TH CENTURY ART
Curated by Yuko Nii
October 10th through November 15th, 1998
Opening Saturday October 10, 4 to 6 p.m.
|Last year the Center launched a massive show curated by
Bruce Pearson called WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU ARE DOING DAVE?,
a "cutting edge" exhibit of emerging artists who
were just beginning to make their way into major galleries
and museums. It was thought by many in the art world that
this exemplified where art stood at this place in time...that
this was the "new" art. In fact, it was felt by
the artistic director of the Center, Yuko Nii, that the
art which had reached the mainstream was not at all cutting
edge and was about ten years or more behind what was really
new and transforming. THE CALCULUS OF TRANSFIGURATION show
brings us another step forward. Yuko Nii has seen the "event
horizon" and brought us closer to it. But even as we
speak, many of these artists in this very show are being
snapped up for shows at major galleries. Time marches on,
and the willo' the wisp of the transcendent "now"
once again evaporates into nothingness. Still, this is a
show in the process of transforming the art world and should
be seen by those interested in serious art. Some of the
artists are using computers as their artistic tool, some
are making wearable computers. Still others examine viral
and biological processes.
In this show some of the artist/thinkers look around at the rain of communication abounding and recognizes in it the very material for his art: communication, meaning, redundancy, absurdity, as well as the muddy boundaries between orderly and chaotic processes. Some artists like Gregory Barsamian focus on perceptions or kinetic illusion. His art states what David Hume and the empiricists as well as George Berkeley and the phenomenalists understand that "the nature of all reality is that of perceptions, there is nothing more than that!" Einstein gave much credit to Hume in his own thinking, and even today as physicists examine the world they think of things as composed of "events."Many of these artists are bringing forth the intelligence of the subconscious that creates art and are consciously engaging the formerly hidden reasons for the products of their art. Individual artists may have done this before, but it is now becoming a solid movement, it is becoming expansive. There are artists here engaging their art with the tool of ritual revelation as Sagerman does with his kabalistic painting rituals, or as Delegat and Dionne do with pure reason. The precision and delicacy and deliberation and elegance of the new artistic creature, the developed mind with all its subtlety, now rules the domain of the present. The artists in the CALCULUS OF TRANSFIGURATION show are responding to, or swept up in, something that is happening to world culture at the millennium. It is a more conscious awareness. It is a growth of the faculty of inquiry and self analysis. It is remarkable in what this might herald for the next millennium. Dionne mentions that her art has something to do with "causing to stand," ...the precariousness and contingency of it. Indeed, "process of change" from one order to the next. Nothing stands in the world, it is always toppling. Ebon Fisher calls this toppling effect "Wigglism" as the effect which makes living things active or "wiggle."
One artist looks at the act of creating art as "being steeped in the process of being in a state of belief." There is something really significant here, and more is discovered at every turn through the eyes of the many artists in the CALCULUS OF TRANSFIGURATION show. The artists here are mystics and ontologists and epistemologists. And other artists here simply express a wonderment at the technology of the new age.Has intelligence replaced beauty in art here at the cusp of the millennium? No, beauty is the elegance of the ay in which we redirect energy flows or change mind states in a work of art. Intelligence creates great art, and sometimes great natural "intuition" does. But "intuition" is the subconscious working of intelligence. Our artists and critics in Williamsburg are examining the issues of science & philosophy, art, meaning and perception. There is a wonderful thing here, perhaps never before done in such a way. And there are many artists inspired by each other in this pursuit. One can write volumes on the many different and varied ideas examined by the many artists in the show CALCULUS OF TRANSFIGURATION. This show is an important statement. There is also a symposium of artists, performers, composers, philosophers and critics on October 18th to discuss whether art has been redefined at the end of the 20th Century.
The artists in the show: Andrea Ackerman, Gregory Barsamian, Matthew Deleget, Susan Dionne, Janice Everett, Ebon Fisher, Amin Gulgee, Richard Humann, Cari Isaac, Leon Kalas, Terrence Kelleman, Tom Mullaney, Adam Oranchak, Dalton Portella, Robert Sagerman, Raphael Vargas-Suarez.