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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Device: Fantastic Contraption



I went to Device Gallery in La Jolla with my friend Karen. We missed the opening, too bad, apparently Wayne Martin Belger (see below) did some demonstration with his strange handmade cameras.

"Fantastic Contraption" is the first show of the gallery Device, and presents the work of 18 artists, no less: Ashley Wood, Christopher Conte, D. Hwang, Eduard Anikonov, Eric Joyner, Gregory Brotherton, H.R. Giger, Joey Vaiasuso, John U. Abrahamson, Kazuhiko Nakamura, Mike Libby, Nemo Gould, St├ęphane Halleux, Theo Kamecke, Viktor Keon, Wayne Martin Belger, William B. Hand and Zoran Milivojevic.


Paintings by Eduard Anikonov



From Mike Libby's engineered insects to Stephane Halleux's between-dream-and-nightmare sculptures via the sleek images printed from different artists including visionary artist H.R.Giger, everything here is perfect and super controlled.
Suddenly I am thinking: I would have love to notice some goo coming down from the ceiling onto the floor - may be Alien is around? I would have love to enter the gallery and find things not so well arranged and under some dust... Something, anything, which reunites the art pieces and the world the art is talking about. May be a dim light, may be some sounds...


"Fantastic Contraption", the catalog

I am amazed to see that there is a catalog for the exhibition ($20) and it is not a small one: It has 138 pages! Inside one can find much more works than the ones presented in the exhibition.

There is a print
of a female creature by H.R. Giger which brings me back to the time when I was reading The Necronomicon and was looking for everything Giger was publishing. I was under the spell of the world of Alien and fascinated by the technique Giger uses (I guess I still am). At the same time I was also reading all the stories of decaying worlds always at war by french science fiction author Philippe Druillet.

Belger's work takes the largest space: he presents 4 different installations with the very special cameras he makes (one for each project) and the pictures he takes with them.



Wayne Martin elger


Belger: "Yama", the camera (detail of the installation above):
aluminium, titanium, copper, brass, steel, silver, pure gold,
turquoise, sapphires, opals, inlayed in a 500 year old Tibetan Skull.
"Designed for the study of exodus and for the research
of modern incarnations of historical iconic figures".


Belger: "Yemaha", underwater pinhole camera
(aluminium, acryilic, brass, sea creatures, pearls).

"An Altar to the Santeria the goddess of the ocean,

Yemaha, is inside the back ofthe camera".



Belger: 3 portraits of HIV positive people taken with the camera in the middle.


Belger: "Untouchable": the camera in which
HIV positive blood circulates when Belger takes pictures
of HIV positive people. "Designed to shoot a geographic
comparison of people suffering from HIV



Belger


Belger: "Deer" (detail from the installation above): camera (steel, bronze, copper, old antlers, old ivory), "designed to study the core ritual of the hunt, and man's arrogant separation from nature".

Halleux's work reminds me instantly of Jean-Pierre Jeunet's movies (Delicatessen,
The Bunker of the Last Gunshots, The City of Lost Children) and Tim Burton's imaginary. I can see how Halleux's creatures could evolve in a dark and poetic world, talking and interacting.


Stephane Halleux


Stephane Halleux: Cosmonaut


Stephane Halleux: Flying Civil Servant

The exhibition is on display until September 2.

Device
7881 Drury Lane

(on the corner of Prospect and Drury Lane)
La Jolla
contact: Colleen Gibbs
760.431.7264

2 comments:

ricardo said...

Very interesting.

Michele Guieu said...

Ricardo, I really appreciate that you read my blog often. Thank you!