Thursday, February 10, 2011

Looping it up in Providence

Holding the auspicious slot as the inaugural exhibiting artist, Julianne Swartz (deCordova, Fall 2012) opened up the new Cohen Gallery at Brown University with Loop on February 4th.  While I admittedly missed the Artist talk by greatly underestimating Boston-Providence Friday traffic, I did catch a glimpse of this beautiful and witty installation, curated by Jo-Ann Conklin and Natasha Khandekar.

Granoff Center

The Perry and Marty Granoff Center for the Creative Arts officially opened Thursday as Brown’s new interdisciplinary arts center. Designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro, this striking, new tower is meant to encourage “faculty and students to create bold new directions for research, teaching, and production across the boundaries of individual arts disciplines and among artists, scientists, and scholars.” The beauty of this building is that its contents and uses (i.e. shows, courses, etc) will be juried by various committees each semester, allowing for unprecedented department collaboration across all fields. The building’s design reflects this blurring of boundaries with glass reveals between floors and walls that leave a visitor (well, this one at least) guessing exactly what floor she is on…

Julianne Swartz, Camera-Less-Video (2009): Stainless Steel, optical lenses, Plexiglas, hardware

Floor to Ceiling

Swartz’s work is a great first start for the new gallery space, as she is an artist who trades on the slippages in perception and space. The show includes three distinct works: Camera-Less-Video, that flips the view outdoors through a neat play of light and lenses; Floor to Ceiling, two thin metal rods suspended from the ceiling by magnetic force with a beautifully tense gap in between; and finally, the newest work Loop, a tapestry of wire and speakers that quietly and subtly whispers and hums. The result is magical, and the whispers of strangers add a quirky warmth to this shiny, stark building.

Julianne Swartz, Loop, 2011

Loop – on view until March 20th.

- Dina Deitsch