Caroline Bergvall’s exhibition, DRIFT, at Callicoon Fine Arts delivers exactly what the title states, engulfing its audience among a variety of visual, experiential, and textual representations of being adrift at sea. Walking into the gallery, viewers move among prints suspended with nautical ropes and two headphones hanging from the ceiling in the middle of the room. All materials hang in midair, suspended like particles of water do as they shift from rain to fog. A nautical tale is experienced through the text displayed on each print as well as through readings heard through the hanging headphones.
Bergvall mirrors the visualization of fog amid ocean voyages with subtle shifts in hue between text and background. These subtleties create a sense of rhythm similar to the lull of rocking waves as the viewer iamgines the narrative of the text. Bergvall emphasizes the multimedia experience through her audio of two different maritime narratives playing in the hanging headphones. With these multiple mediums of expression, Bergvall blurs the lines between literature, audio, and installation, embracing these forms of art as a single artistic unit and experience. As a result of this mixed media, viewers may find it difficult to fully experience the entire narrative created. I would recommend allowing yourself plenty of time to drift away from New York's winter weather and into the multimedia experience created by Bergvall.