Strange Fates

Last week Brent Green invited me to a sneak peak of his show, To Many Men Strange Fates Are Given, at the Andrew Edlin Gallery before it opened this week.

 

I didn’t read the press release he sent, so I didn’t know precisely what the show would entail.  On a sunny Friday I dragged Kelsey and Liesje over to Tenth Avenue.

I’ve already written about his last major film, Gravity Was Everywhere Back Then.  Over a year since last seeing it, it still haunts me.  The MoMA added the film to its permanent collection in February, so I’m not on an island with my profound appreciation.

This new show…  and stop.

It’s a show.  An art show.  A picture show.  A peep show.  Show and tell.  A showcase.

The exhibition is a single room with two standing viewing stations and an elevated bench.     These stations have polarized screens and speakers.  Another polarized screen distances the main projection screen.  The effect is a multiplane of images which takes some adjusting to.  Moreover, the effect is magical.  It’s an understated “wow, that’s really cool!”

Show of shows -an auditory experience.

Considering how we view art, especially at commercial galleries, To Many Men Strange Fates Are Given is wildly inappropriate.  What other venue is there?  A train station? The back room of a bar?  A highway rest stop?  Where is there a space to encounter treasures which ask for your time and undivided attention as fare?

The exhibit insists you pay attention, spend time with it, go on a personal journey (in public, no less).   It’s rhythm and it’s poetic narrative infuse power beyond single images.

It’s a thoughtful, lovely piece.

I’ll be visiting again on the next sunny day.