As you step into the cavernous chamber, you are first greeted by a diamond; a glowing monument of 23 prisms. This audacity of scale, imaginative range, and scope of form are representative of the collection as a whole. The Spring/Break Bklyn Immersive Art Show, courtesy of Frieze Week and lead curators Ambre Kelly and Andrew Gori, explores themes of displacement, loss, and the surreal.
Focusing on a small section of large scale productions rather than a breadth of art, the open space is divided into 12 scenes. Each unique, though some of greater interest than others. The most impressive to me was the aptly titled Sky Diamond, constructed by Brooklyn’s own Jason Peters. Suspended from the rafters, the Euclidian diamond hovers just above a black pool of water. As it reflected in the still tide, the art conjures a feeling of uncertain serenity; calm, but for unnamable reasons somewhat disquieting. Its florescent structure illuminates the area around, creating a sense of environmental distortion; walking past the Sky Diamond, one has a sense of stepping into a dream.
I continued my immersion as I came upon Adela Andea’s Lux Aeterna. The title, Latin for eternal light, shares its name with the lead track of Requiem for a Dream. Intentional or not, the exhibit is comparable to the film for its surreal nature. Composed of radiant neon clusters and coils, the piece dances between vibrant colors. I stepped within the open frame, doing my best to discern a pattern from the network of lights. Examining one part in particular, I saw a strawberry, my friend saw a brain, some other visitors likely saw their own images. Lux Aeterna is a tangle of neon color and abstract expressionism.
Beyond the lights, I took refuge in a dark end of the auditorium. An indoor beach, complete with sand, occupied the corner. Entre Nosotros (Between Us) by Lionel Cruet, a Puerto Rican born artist with a global resume, is a strange, ritualistic affair. Dotting the manmade beach, small candles provide dim lighting. The centerpiece is a rowboat for two, behind which a projector displays rolling waves and a rising sun. The sun rises, at first with ordinary tendencies, until it begins to flash between black and gold in rapid succession. As it continues to rises, the shimmering orb begins to deconstruct, the synchronization collapsing. And then upon hitting the point of high noon, it begins again, retreating below the waves to once more rise and combust. The cycle is both enchanting and disturbing.
I meandered among the other exhibits, but before I left I stopped at one more half-forgotten dream. A house, shattered by the storm and rebuilt from driftwood and memory, Takashi Horisaki’s Social Dress New Orleans – 730 days After 10 years After, looks to both the past and the future. Airy and hollow, the frame of the building lays together like loose boards; it is not a home so much as a shelter. Hurricane Katrina submerged the city of New Orleans, and Horisaki imagines what remained beneath the waves. The piece is haunting and foreboding; with the effects of climate change growing more severe each year, one wonders whose house will next be reclaimed by nature’s waters.
Permeating the voluminous gallery is an ethereal sensation, one in which the viewer is never quite sure if they are walking through a dream or a nightmare. Spring/Break Bklyn Immersive Art Show is located at Brooklyn’s City Point mall, and will remain on display until May 14th.
Writing by Stephen Barry
Photographs by Stephen Barry, Olya Turcihin and Jamie Martinez