Saturday, March 31, 2012

Daniel Phillips, River Street @ Dodge Gallery

I am not sure what to say about Daniel Phillips’s lovely time-lapse projections of construction sites on slabs of concrete being suspended by little cranes in a darkened gallery space. The videos are quite nice. The back-room of the gallery featured one of his videos shot at night of a dramatically lit crumbling tower in the woods with a wall of ice growing out of it, like a hipster squat in a fairy tale, all nicely displayed on a clean high definition monitor. The rest of the videos (or the actual show) were projected on large slabs of concrete, for my liking an artistic step too far, since the rough dark concrete muddies the visually pleasurable studies of the labor involved in construction/destruction. As impressive as large pieces of cement supported by cranes (I actually really liked the cranes) are in a darkened gallery, they add a level of artistic bombast that I am not sure serves the otherwise contemplative time-lapse videos. I just wish the work were shown more subtly on say a regular screen or way more experientially and over-the-top like in the woods in an iced-over decrepit building. With any luck, in time they’ll end up in a Mass MoCA installation somewhere in Western Mass.


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