Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Vári at Goodman

One expects works at a solo exhibition to be part of a focused dialogue but with Parallax the works share a deeper relationship: most of the artworks extend the discourse into unexpected territory or echo one another in such a way that Vári's viewpoint feels well-rounded and solid. This characteristic ties in neatly with the exhibition's main thrust: the shifts in nature and its relationship to humanity and culture, which, through myth, superstition and fantasy gives expression to this complex connection.

Certainly, in a few works there exists an obvious visual synthesis such as between Totem, a digital video artwork, and the series of photographs entitled Dog Star Night. It is the dark silhouette of trees against a fluctuating night sky that forms the central motif in both works. In Totem, the trees are obviously animated and sway and rustle.
In-between these prosaic natural growths is a mutating being that at times appears anthropomorphic and at others simply mirrors the shape of the trees - it vacillates between being different and the same. In this way it moves from signifying a human to an object of human superstition to a natural entity. This object/subject is the totem. In so-called primitive societies the totem generally represented a community of people, thus in a metaphorical sense it should have dynamic, shifting persona.

This is a dry description of this work that doesn't do justice to the fact that it is sensually compelling - a vital aspect . It is the music or rhythmic sounds that Vári has selected - sighs of pleasure - that imply that this confluence between human and nature provides a transcendental experience, allowing humankind to imagine an unseen world or order that makes sense of reality.