- Anthony Luensman, 'Dream Machine'
Fast Forward: Current work by past Efroymson Fellows
Featuring the art of Linda Adele Goodine, Emily Kennerk, Arthur Liou, Anthony Luensman, Brose Partington, Jamie Pawlus, Melissa Pokorny, Jennifer Reeder, Tyson Skross, and Tom Torluemke
iMOCA; through Jan. 14
The Efroymson Contemporary Arts Fellowship, now in its seventh year, is perhaps the most significant regional funding opportunity available to artists in the Midwest. Each year, five artists receive $20,000 each to bolster their artistic practice. Fast Forward, comprised of recent work by past recipients of the fellowship, certainly shows that it has been money well spent.
Anthony Luensman’s "Dream Machine" is a wall of sleep-aid audio devices in the size and shape of a bed—according to the exhibition text, the artist imagines it hanging over the insomniac’s bed. The devices are arranged so that the sound pours out in all directions, and the piece functions as an interesting statement on our increasingly sleepless culture and the ways we try to amend this problem; ironically, the effect of the audio devices becomes unsettling as they compete with each other and create an intense haze of ambient noise.
Another highlight is Jennifer Reeder’s video piece, "Tears Cannot Restore Her: Therefore, I Weep." The short film “depicts the emotional breakdown of a sign language interpreter as she mistranslates a factual lecture on electromagnetism by replacing the teacher’s words with a personal narrative of her failed relationship,” according to the exhibition text. While watching the video, I walked away feeling downright astounded by the fascinating linguistic, personal and cultural twists contained within.
The cumulative effect of all of the art in this show was a much-appreciated reminder of what great contemporary art looks like and how it functions; the work in Fast Forward is of a nearly overwhelming visual beauty, and poses a genuine intellectual challenge to the viewer.