Visual ArtCurrently Hanging: Dakota Gearhart's Video Tongueing a Cavern
by Jen Graves
on Tue, Feb 11, 2014 at 8:52 AM
Looking up toward the ceiling.
You can see Dakota Gearhart's installation Chroma Key at A Gallery. What you see above is dangling down from the ceiling like a great geode. It's loopy and tangled, more like a messy drawing than a physical object, and the video that races across it keeps its surface from sitting still long enough to be understandable to the eye.
The object underneath, a protuberance sitting on a mirrored table, is Gearhart-ishly obscene. More than anything, it reminded me of the saggy, wet giant green sea anemones I found all over Shi Shi Beach in July 2012.
So obscene. So wondrously obscene.
What shoots up out of the opening in Gearhart's anemonous object is light: video. Constantly changing, it projects up into the geode's cavern, the light searching out the surfaces like a tongue. In the video, I saw birds flying, maybe plants growing, some hot pink scene I couldn't make out. The mirror is pornographic.
Here's the full view of the installation, called Chroma Key.
The truth is, the objects physically feel slightly off, janky, not aesthetically fully realized. That said, this piece is more alluring, works much better, than her MFA installation last spring. She's still working out her relationship to 3D. Her films are fantastically perverse. Here's one (others, too):
Seattle artist Ellen Dicola wrote of Gearhart's work, "I think about how the body cannot be de-sexualized." Or de-animalized. Barbara Earl Thomas, Seattle artist, is in Mexico and posted to Facebook,
I found a bookstore today, beautiful full of books most I can’t read as they are all in Spanish but that didn’t allay my feeling of gratitude and riches. The only thing that stands between me, and all this, is better Spanish. In my life before I could read I assigned meaning to objects and sounds. Until I could read I though I was a human bean… I still remember my surprise when I learned the word being. To go from a bean to a being was kind of a shock. It changed how I thought about myself. But the idea that I am a bean persists—that I was planted and grew still makes sense to me.