Salomon Contemporary presents The Beacon, an exhibition of works by Meghan Boody, Joe Bradley, Phillip Estlund, John Gordon Gauld, April Gornik, Alexis Rockman, Michelle Stuart, Spencer Tunick and Lawrence Weiner. Inspired by the regional occurrences that have wrecked our habitats and compromised our daily lives in varying degrees, the exhibition highlights select stages of a natural disaster, from beginning to aftermath. While some works include the proverbial beacon or “guiding light,” others portray extreme weather or its consequences.
In Meghan Boody’s photograph There Was No Possibility of Taking a Walk That Day, there is a sense of isolation and anticipation, as a reformatory girl gazes out the window to the lighthouse in the distance.
Alexis Rockman’s Aral Sea and Runoff highlights two conflicting natural disasters in motion. As yin and yang, each environment is desperate for what the other has—the Aral Sea dries up from lack of water, while Runoff overflows with extreme excess of it.
John Gordon Gauld’s painting Wildflowers and Their Teachings depicts a collection of decayed objects that fell victim to a flood—the background is no exception, and is also peeling away. While originally functional objects, water has rendered them useless, but also imposed a new beauty of its own. The same grim beauty is evident in April Gornik’s Sea After Storm. A hint of light can be seen in a distance as the dismal clouds roll away and the water settles after its agitation.
Lawrence Weiner’s Sail On epitomizes through text the feeling of moving forward in life as time presents its obstacles; and in Spencer Tunick’s Montauk 2 a community stands as one, confronting the sea, the guiding light present in the background.
The exhibition is about the inner sanctums of one’s mind and the will to carry on as a survival instinct. At any moment there are countless people in crisis—with outside help and inner strength, an individual or community will find a way to get through obstacles and hardship. In a sense, we all harbor an internal beacon—a light that navigates us back to safety.
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