Friday, March 11, 2011

Stephen G. Rhodes - Metro Pictures (Revised)

The current installation by Stephen G. Rhodes provokes the senses and challenges the viewer’s concentration. Clocks with fixed times, a four wall rotating projection and acute alcoves furnished with supplementary art works, combine to formulate a disorienting walk through Rhodes’ material translation of Immanuel Kant’s The Illnesses of the Head. The idiosyncratic fusion of eighteenth century philosophy and twenty first century art production is a potent compound, elaborately portrayed throughout the three-room installment.

The first room stages a familiar setting for viewers who are subject to delirium; ordinary domestic objects have been rendered inoperative after their decent into Rhodes’ rabbit hole. The walls have been marked with agitated line drawings that are uncomplicated in design and infused with cryptic insinuations. The tightrope spectacle between reality and delusion secures the visitors attention (but not their commendation) as they continue into the following rooms.

The second room hosts a video segment beaming images of parking lot fires and wig wearing men. Rhodes constructed an impressive island of projectors situated around a desolate table lamp, which encircle the visitors with obscure imagery. Turbulent music saturates the air making the room heavy with uncertainty.

The final portion of Rhodes’ installment is spatially more fragmented (artificial walls were installed to fracture the rooms square floor plan) and is occupied by work in a more traditional medium. Mixed media sculpture, mounted wall cabinets littered with curious objects and floor grazing canvases capturing the penumbra left by a vacant subject, is the closest thing comprehension-seeking visitors will encounter before exiting Metro Pictures gallery.

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