To read my new exhibition review “WAYS OF SEEING, WAYS OF BEING: ART IN THREE DIMENSIONS” in the January 11, 2024 issue of the Observer, click on the link below.
By Stephen Wozniak
January 11, 2024
October 19, 2023 – March 17, 2024
11th Street SW, #701
As you walk through bare Brutalist concrete corridors towards the entry to the new Jennifer Marman and Daniel Borins multimedia art exhibition “Three Dimensions,” you might wonder what you’re doing there. The place is immense and austere–like an ultramodern wartime bunker built to protect you from flying artillery shrapnel. Instead, color explodes at the start: brightly hued paintings of building-block figures flank the first white-walled room. In its center, a giant open Minimalist cube sits in stolid silence but is anchored in arcade fantasy with a hefty crane that hangs from above. On the floor, museumgoers become much more than passive viewers of easy artwork; they are creators of the current moment, making discrete decisions by grabbing a joystick that enables them to guide the centralizing overhead jaws of life and construct innumerable combinations of Lego-like felt-wrapped modules into abstract forms and identifiable figures below.
The results could be like those of the flat picture planes on the walls but are instead 3D objects that museumgoers author with their feet on the ground. To me, the title of the room containing this interactive work, Balancing Act, alludes to the relationship between our lives as passive observers and the ones we consciously act out and navigate daily. The title could also serve as a metaphor for additional emotional and physical balancing acts we perform in our frenetic lives between rest and work, people and machines, past and present, advancement and exploitation, ideas and experience, seeing and being. Along with the other principal segments that make up this show, the heightened hall of mirrors THX2020 and the greatest-hits, virtual-reality, sleight-of-hand showstopper ABCD, the team of Marman and Borins creates a vivid world of wonders that tests our very perception in a manner that might just put smiles on our faces, butterflies in our stomachs and a purpose in our steps.
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