The art season began last Sept. 10th in the Chelsea district and excitement coupled with anxious anticipation were in the hearts of those before their foot even takes a step inside the brilliant white interior of the gallery. Paula Cooper put their best foot forward with the star of their stable. Christian Marclay, making himself be heard in his latest exhibition, Surround Sounds.
At the front room of the gallery were works on paper with paint over the action words – either plopped, splattered or just to glop it on. The very action is suggestive and represented adequately in the layers of paint and color. Movement and dynamic energy still spoke loud and clear beyond the frame. Of course in this format, the whole thought of his latest oeuvre was accessible.
Now the video installation was set up at the darkened back room where all the four walls had images projected and sounds punctuated the bright visual. Taking a page from the pop comic sensibility of Roy Lichtenstein, Marclay used the action texts he cut up from a collection of comic books so that they jumped off the walls. There was “rumbling” rising from the ground, ‘splat” slammed right on your face and “DOOM” cut up the room in rows of red. It was playful but was there an underlying theme besides the obvious? This is where art becomes nuanced when what the artist presents could mean something else.
Perhaps what Marclay wanted to resonate best was that in the cacophony of the world that we live in where quick sound bites and the clutter of media feed could be the impending doom of us all. Just like those action words under the layer of paint, the coverage could not muffle out the impact of the sound word that is still visible if you look hard enough. Never listen to dumb chatter and learn to examine things much more closely. After filtering through the deafening crap, our search for real meaning in this life drowns out the unnecessary noise. I hope that rings out loud and unmistakably true.
CHRISTIAN MARCLAY: Surround Sounds
Exhibition Dates: Sept. 10 – Oct. 17, 2015
Gallery Schedule: Tuesday – Saturday (10 am – 6 pm)
Paula Cooper Gallery. 534 West 21st Street. NYC, NY 10011
Review by: Oscar A. Laluyan
Photography by: OlyaTurcihin