At Atelier Z Gallery, Molly Torgeson's sculptures look like various methods of footbinding, hanging from above, but the effect is more like timebinding--like she's trying to imprison this one moment in space through industrial-waste bandages. Torgeson defines the term "suspended": "to keep waiting in suspense or indecision, to keep fixed, to cease temporarily from operation." Because her suspensions are wrapped up with metal and nails and other rusty things that bare like teeth, the bound effect (and the potentiality for contracting lockjaw) puts danger in the sculptures. At the same time, they're silent and very graceful--twisted, industrial stalactites. JULIANNE SHEPHERD
Have you ever walked out of a video installation at an art gallery or museum and realize that you've seen webcams of goldfish bowls and empty dining rooms that were more compelling? It happens to me all the time; the short history of video art has been largely monotonous, stuffy, and self-referential.
From time to time, though, entertaining exceptions come barreling through, beginning with William Wegman's bust-a-gut, pre-dog-days videos of the artist amusing himself in the studio, and more recently, with Christian Jankowski, who is garnering major attention with his sly approaches to art making. Jankowski's videos look more like German sketch comedy and late night infomercials than they do the pretentious, artsy styles favored by Enid's teacher in Ghost World.
This week, Elizabeth Leach gallery presents one of the artist's earliest videos as part of Digital Samples, a rotating group exhibition of four video artists. Die Jagd (The Hunt), from 1992, isn't so much a critique of the artist's role in society, but an early venture into the conceptual absurdity that marks the artist's more "mature" work.
The Hunt wrestles with the old-as-man issues of hunting wild game, and the moral questions raised by this dubious sport. To get inside the mind of the hunter, Jankowski boldly picks up the bow and arrow and stalks his prey himself. True, he does it in a brightly lit supermarket, but what's the difference? CHAS BOWIE
The Hummingbird Project
Let's face it: most wholesome activities that don't involve exercise are kind of boring. But hey, what about this one? It's outdoors, artistic, involves meeting people, and you leave with something cool. The Hummingbird Project, by Jon Hammer (a group name for local artists Steve MacDougall, Tom Ghilarducci, and Chris Rhodes) manifests itself at Jamison Square at NW 10th & Johnson, all Sundays in September from 11 am-3 pm. You can learn how to whirl an artistically designed, humming noisemaker you can construct yourself. When groups of people whirl simultaneously, the sound effect is surreal. KATIE SHIMER