Pratt Manhattan Gallery
February 8 – April 27, 2013
Thursdays until 8pm
Closed on President’s Day
Artists: U-Ram Choe, Casey Curran, Chico MacMurtrie, Reuben Margolin, Meridith Pingree, Alan Rath, Adriana Salazar, Björn Schülke, Che-Wei Wang, Zimoun
Co-curators: Nick Battis, Director of Exhibitions; and Linda Lauro Lazin, Adjunct Associate Professor, Digital Arts
The artists represented in this exhibition create kinetic sculptures that echo the movement of natural forms and explore human experiences. Their sculptures move with elegant and articulated gestures that are powered by hand, plug-in electricity, and solar cells.
Through their work, the artists included in Kinesthetics: Art Imitating Life investigate various aspects of movement and how it relates to life, to a visual language, to math and time, and to our own biological and emotional rhythms. Some examine movement in nature by re-animating specimens of plant and animal forms, while others tap into our culture’s anxiety about and fascination with technology. Other sculptures mimic human creative endeavors such as mark making and sound making or replicate ordinary, everyday tasks such as tying shoelaces. With the use of technology, many of the artists in this exhibition are able to subvert the predictability of motion prevalent in traditional mobiles and outdoor kinetic works.
Kinesthetics: Art Imitating Life is akin to a choreographed performance. Each of the sculptures in the exhibition reveal a kind of persona that evolves over time: some playful, some pensive, some menacing, each unique. Are these mysterious characters alive? These hybrid works combine elements from the natural world with mechanical parts such as wires, motors, strings, pulleys, hydraulics, and high tensile fabric. And yet they have begun to transcend their artificiality. Their gestures are no longer the gestures of clumsy automata. Their movement has become graceful and fluid. The artists in this exhibition are contemporary Pygmalions (or perhaps Dr. Frankensteins). As we watch life breathed into their sculptures, we begin to ask ourselves what it means to be alive.