Slide, Slide, Slide review by Enrico Gomez
In an age of ever-changing technologies, updating interfaces and quickly outmoded hardware, one system for recording and displaying visual information that has been in large part eradicated is the color slide. A precursor to the artist website, the color slide, until relatively recently, enjoyed a long and ubiquitous presence in the lives of artists everywhere, from being the primary mode of disseminating artist visuals to being a primary tool for teaching art history.
If you are quick you can revisit this iconic medium, now being employed as an art material in “Slide Slide Slide”, a 10 person group show at the expansive new home of Microscope Gallery (1329 Willoughby Ave #2B) in Bushwick. The large repurposed warehouse home of Microscope proves an ideal setting for this show, which posits slide projectors at regular intervals around a darkened interior. The resultant intimate feel of the space belies the extensive scale of this attractive show.
The artists here use the projected slide as a primary component of their work. Most notable is the video projection of Bruno Munari’s slide works which include profile images of slides with sculptural objects affixed to them; acrylic ribbons, translucent wire, mesh, etc. paired with the images of their realized projections; beautiful abstract compositions of colored light and layered media. These works date back to the early 1950’s which, considering that Munari was both the founder of the Concrete Art Movement and a member of the Italian Futurists, makes this a rare coup for art viewing in Brooklyn. (Munari’s work most recently appeared in the sweeping Guggenheim survey, “Italian Futurism 1909-1944, Reconstructing The Universe”.)
Next to Munari and utilizing a corner of the space is a projected work by Bradley Eros wherein twin abstract images, one flush against the wall, the other projected at a sweeping angle, make for beguiling and ghostly viewing. The atmospheric light in this corner has an ethereal and transfixing quality that lingers.
Across the room sits a light table atop which Pantone-like color slides have been arranged edge to edge. Leaking out through the corners of the slides, the light from the table creates a lattice of white-light netting that seems to hold the colored gels and their black frames it its grip. Created by the artist duo Sandra Gibson and Luis Recoder, this work most closely aligns to traditional painting with nods to Constructivist and Minimalist visual tropes.
This impressive display of slide based artwork is also notable for the constructs and machinery of its viewing. One work for example is screened via a large antique projector with art deco lines and a shape that could double as a 30’s bronze hood ornament. The gentle whirring of these machines, the steady and repetitious click of the slide carousels, and the flickering pools of light within the space all combine to make this ambient viewing context one of the most unique and unforgettable that I have experienced in some time. Pair that experience with the artworks and this handsome show asserts Microscope’s programing prowess and portends great things to come in their immediate future. (through Oct. 6th)