'Between You and Me'
The Arthouse exhibition 'Between You and Me' uses video to explore intimate space in the artistic context
Reviewed by Jacqueline May, Fri., March 25, 2005
Between You and Me
Arthouse at the Jones Center, through April 17
A seldom-noticed aspect of art is the relationship between artist and audience. Anyone who has exhibited creative work in public will have noticed that viewers often come to assume a level of personal relationship with the artist that is not necessarily reflected in the artist's own feelings. "Between You and Me" is an exploration of intimate space in the artistic context. The design of this video exhibition (curated by Anthony Huberman) creates a space for one person, and one person only, to view each piece in a darkened room. In Tom Johnson's piece, Shaken, the one-sided fragments of close-up, intensely emotional interactions render the illusion of a personal relationship nearly palpable. In other videos, the sketchbooklike, detailed focus of the works creates the sensation of closeness with the artist. Their short duration and a near absence of narrative content create a distinction between these works and videos typically presented in a nonvisual art context. In Harrell Fletcher's Hello There Friend, a hand repeatedly unfolds in varied contexts to reveal objects found in city streets some mundane, some curious, but each a surprise akin to the lotus revealed in Buddha's hand. In a slightly different take, James Yamada's work links his participants and audience rather than exploring the link between artist and viewer. Unstacking Cuchilian, or Gravity Understands Why We Build is a close-up of a windowsill looking out on a mountainside in South America. A set of oddly endearing random objects is lovingly stacked and arranged by the townspeople of this exotic locale in a manner that emphasizes the peculiar personhood of each item in reality the revealed personality of the person placing it. Tom Robbins' readers will likely have a special affinity for this one, featuring as it does Can o' Beans' Southern cousins. Emily Katrencik's eerie Consuming 1.956 Inches Each Day for Forty-One Days documents the artist, termitelike, gnawing away at a piece of drywall. The relationships people have with the buildings they inhabit is a peculiar one, prone to hauntings and obsessions. Although, of course, the video is open to varied interpretations, I imagine this structure to be haunted by activities that seem devoid of purpose. It seems almost as if the artist has had a very personal if not sweet revenge. Also featured in the thought-provoking exhibit are Jenny Perlin, Francis Alÿs, Kerry Tribe, Shannon Plumb, Christoph Migone, Douglas Ross, Marit Følstad, and Stephan Apicella-Hitchcock.