In his exhibition, We All Love Your Life at Red Bull Studios, installation artist George Henry Longly sets out to create a “disorienting, obliquely formal and technological” experience, inspired by a 1976 account of life on the Skylab space station.
And disorienting it is.
Longly has filled the upper floor of Red Bull’s vast space with dispersed technical seeming objects (i.e. a hand reminiscent of a prosthesis, and various bars attached to walls), and two works entitled Rationale, tongue in cheek mantras on mirrored signs that perhaps would aid in surviving life in outer space. The lower floor is dominated by a large-scale looping video installation, featuring, among other visuals, snakes overtaking a desk surface. Structural columns covered in aluminum reiterate Longly’s aim to create a space age experience. The works come together to create an overall sense of being out of one’s element – while the alleged Skylab theme is not terribly pronounced in the installation, a sense of being transported elsewhere, bordering on unease, is.
Longly does succeed in creating an immersive experience, though challenging, it is one that inspires active engagement with the art in the process of piecing it all together. Conceptual and abstractly formal, at times it is difficult to differentiate where the exhibition begins and ends, but perhaps that is Longly’s intent.
We All Love Your Life at Red Bull Studios
George Henry Longly June 9 – July 31, 2016
220 West 18th street, NYC
Photos by Lance Brewer. Courtesy of Red Bull Studios New York.