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Introspective Installations by London Artists at Pitch Project

Mar. 28, 2017
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Tick | Tock | Rifts

The Pitch Project deviates from the cliché of contemporary galleries as being sullen, somber white cubes. It includes The Lounge, a large room that shows pieces by professional artists who design Brenner Brewing labels, and is filled with tables, lounge chairs, plus a bean bag toss games. Given that the location is connected to a brew pub, it makes as an additional place to hang out, chat and play. Even with that, the exhibition rooms for the current show, “Tick | Tock | Rifts,” are ones in which you can wander thoughtfully, perusing the art in a low-key manner. 

London-based artists Andrea Jespersen and Ben Woodeson contribute their work in a good pairing. They both use recognizable, ordinary stuff to create alternately wry and introspective installations. 

I recently saw a 1960s sculpture by American minimalist John McCracken—a piece that was a monumental lacquered plank leaning against the wall. Woodeson’s Manly Big Game Jolly Fun Stick immediately called that to mind. Woodeson takes a similar strategy on a more diminutive scale. His is covered with Retumbo magnum smokeless rifle propellant. They are small round beads which have a subversive and ironically decorative quality, much more dangerous insofar as big game is concerned. Woodeson’s slumped glass installation, Go On, Live a Little, Die a Little, shares this overtone of nihilism. Seventeen curved glass plates lie on the gallery floor in neat rows, like transparent fins or wings of death. 

Jespersen presents abstract drawings, in addition to video and installation. A rooted earthiness emerges, but not the sort colored by dull neutrals. Instead it is something luminous and curious. Her silent seven-minute video breathing together (Tick |Tock) is a rumination on a flickering harbor as boats and water taxis scoot by, interrupted by a cruise ship whose very size makes it rude. This is an overlay to a background that vacillates between trees silhouetted by a brazen pink sky, a nighttime pergola and abstract shell forms. As the voices float in from the adjacent rooms, we are all the more conscious of time and the varied moments of our lives. Tick tock. 

Through May 15 at the Pitch Project, 706 S. Fifth St. 


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