Visual Art Video at SAM
posted by April 17 at 9:25 AMon
Cai Guo-Qiang’s Illusion, seen in its 2004 installation at Mass MOCA
You know that strange little area at Seattle Art Museum, the one off the main lobby and overlooking the Hammering Man entrance of the museum? The area where nobody goes?
It’s where the artwork seen above is installed. It’s Cai Guo-Qiang’s Illusion, a video of a car being immolated “in” Times Square, displayed in conjunction with the burned-out car itself. (You can see the video here.)
That work is coming down in May (the flying cars will still be up for a while; Darling couldn’t say how long), and, eventually, in its place, the entire area will be transformed into a zone for video art, according to SAM modern and contemporary curator Michael Darling. The room will no longer be a weirdly shaped open zoneóa land that architecture forgotóbut it will become gallerylike, with temporary walls and such. (One hopes the museum will also find a better way to direct people toward the area, which is continually overlooked now.)
The area doesn’t naturally lend itself to the idea of showing video. A big bank of windows across the southern lobby pour natural light into the space. But with a buildout, it could work. And it will be great to see the area activated.
The first exhibition? The video survey of 19 Northwest artiststhat Darling put together for Art Basel Miami Beach this December. As far as I can tell, it marks the first time any curator has put together a Northwest video survey, and even if we had to wait a few months, it’s terrific that it will show in its homeland. Stay tuned for dates; Darling said the buildout could take several months.