Last Wednesday I attended the opening of an art gallery titled “Analogue” by Michael Bosworth at the Alfred State Llewellyn gallery. His art was shown through the visual mediums of photo and video and has been working in this style for approximately seven years. His art was incredibly refreshing, and it was intriguing seeing him make art from a new perspective, at least to me.
Four of his pieces in the gallery consisted of photos displaying destroyed houses and towns near Boron, California, by means of flood. The photos were projected onto the wall by means of a hydrogen lamp, and underneath each photo was a tub of water. The hydrogen lamps caused the water to boil and this would slowly destroy each of the photos. This serves as a visual metaphor and ties together the concept of what is going on in each picture, and what is physically happening to the photo itself.
I personally loved this part of the gallery. It was a very interesting concept and oddly enough shed some light on the concept of beauty in destruction. Even though the photos depicted something horrible and devastating I was strangely drawn to them. Furthermore, the longer the water boiled and the more the pictures began to blur and distort, the more beautiful and interesting the pictures became to me. As a species, I feel we are naturally drawn to destruction, and it’s something that we really can’t get away from. We are always force-fed horror stories of war, and devastation through all forms of media, and naturally it has developed up into creatures that always have a sweet tooth for destruction and devastation. It has warped our perception of something that is supposed to be horrible and devastating into something that can be perceived as beautiful. Another thing that drew me in was the fact that on a daily basis nobody sees images of destruction by means of a flood, and it was intriguing seeing that form of destruction that may be uncommon to most people as opposed to something a little more commonplace such as a house fire. The combination of the stunning photography, and the innovative process that was happening to destroy them was something I found to be truly interesting, and is something that I intend on taking influence from in the future.
Another piece that I observed at this gallery was titled “Klien House”. This was a 20-minute long video that showed inside rooms of a dollhouse that had been filled with Sierra Mist. This gave the effect that the house was underwater and tied it to the theme portrayed by the rest of the gallery. The sequence mostly consisted of carbonated bubbles slowly rising to the top of each room and sticking to assorted things in each section of the house.
This piece is something I would classify as beauty by means of destruction. Though the piece was representing a house getting destroyed by means of water, I could oddly be described as having an overlying calmness. One can’t help but watch the piece without feeling comfortably at ease. The soothing sounds of the bubbles rising to the surface are enough to make someone want to take a deep breathe and quietly watch as the house slowly deteriorates. The contrast between a person’s stereotypical reaction to the destruction and devastation of a house, and this was something truly interesting. It’s interesting to see how Bosworth was able to take an event that most people would perceive as depressing, and make it into something that people can feel at ease and relaxed about.
This was a very interesting gallery and is something I will remember for years to come. The means by which Bosworth was able to manipulate people’s reactions to everyday events was northing short of what could be described as remarkable. As an artist, I feel that the most interesting pieces are the ones that make people take a new perspective on commonplace events and challenge the standards of “normal” “mainstream” art. This was more than a typical photo-video gallery. The art wasn’t the destruction that was depicted in the photos, but the photos actually being destroyed, and about the house being destroyed. It’s remarkable when an artist can take something that on the surface may seem typical, but when looked at deeper is actually very complex, and something to be marveled at. Again, this art highly appealed to me and I intend on taking influence from what I witnessed at the opening of the gallery. Bosworth can truly be regarded as a legend, and a true artist who’s not afraid to go against the grain and challenge the status quo. This is something I admire and respect, and makes him go from a typical artist, to a phenomenal one.