I have always wanted to attend Burning Man in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert, and every year, after looking at a friend’s photos of that event on Facebook, I say the same thing: “I’m going next year” – but I never get around to actually doing it. Well, thank god I attended Default World Dreaming curated by Matt Namer, Kate Raudenbush, Stefan Spins, David Koren & Fab 5 Freddy at Gallery 151. This is as close as I will probably ever get to Burning Man. Before we even crossed Seventh Avenue, you could see the large crowd creating the buzz out front. Their openings are usually packed and this one was almost too packed. It was hard to look at the work but I tried my best to enjoy every item that I can squeeze into a nook then study it.
The first piece that I wanted to focus on is The Infinite Art Beat by Justin Eastman. This artwork is very hard to miss because of the pulsating flashing and colorful LED lights that are constantly changing and with the mirror behind, it makes the flashes rhythmic and the heart racing infinitely. The original inspiration for this was from the artist’s fiancé, who over dinner said “when a group of people can hear or visualize someone’s heartbeat, the entire group will begin to syncopate with that heart beat visualization or sound”. Justin then looked it up and sure enough it’s true. The artist told me “The changing lights represent the cycle of our love throughout our lives and the infinite combinations that are possible”.
The second piece that stood out is House of Worship by artist Jeremiah Johnson. Johnson was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis (A disease of the colon), and since 2001 he started collecting his medication bottles to eventually built this well-constructed church. I love how it glowed and can be seen from very far away. House of Worship is not only a sculpture; it’s an inspiration to us all.
There are a lot of great pieces in this show, I’m probably going back so I can take my time and let each one burn itself deep into my consciousness. Art is a world that is created by dreams or will certainly lead us to the state of being. What a wonderful idea and to think I was bummed missing Burning Man. Wishful thinking won’t be a regretful sentiment anymore – this show just took me there and back.
Default World Dreaming / On View: March 20 – April 19,2014