There wasn’t an unapproachable piece in this totally exciting, large-scale exhibit, which was subtitled “Light, Sound and the Moving Image”. Matthew Weinstein’s video piece with sound, “Three Love Songs”, features an anthropomorphic lounge singer-fish.
These technology based art works, mainly from the permanent collection, relate to the human spirit through narrative, performance, music, humor, social and political issues, nostalgia and the purely sensory.
“Blink’s” unusual shapes and sizes meshed very happily with the irregular interior spaces of the Hamilton building of the museum, designed by architect Daniel Libeskind (opened 2006).
A wide variety of media was included, from front and rear video projections – several directly on walls and one on the ceiling from underneath a dancer’s feet – to neon, bare TV tubes, a talking installation in a suitcase and one visitor-activated piece.
“Blink!” is full of eyes – eye as in the ego of the artist or the direct manifestation of strange beings; eyes channelling pin-hole glimpses of other worlds; eyes staring and blinking back at you the exhibit visitor – maybe through you.
Opening the exhibit doors was like going into a bar or club. Red upholstered lounge sofas face a movie theatre screen. Hauntingly beautiful music of a torch song flow deliciously – the singer is a giant red and white koi with the plastic face of a baby doll. The eyes (hers? its?) are huge and seductive, blinking, but hardly moving in their sockets as the head and body waft slowly in the invisible current. If this all were not disturbing enough, the words of the songs are as startling as the vehemence of the singer’s mouth and teeth! What an opening!
While perhaps not last-week cutting edge nor offering MIDI controlled works that you might find in contemporary performances and concerts, the exhibit speaks substantively of the DAM’s foresight and willingness to collect electronic art forms, as well as significant public interest and acceptance. People simply loved it!
Interview with Curator Jill Desmond is a blink inside “Blink!”