NURTUREArt and Navigation
NURTUREArt’s group show Sextant looks to our sense of reality and place as constructed from memory, history, and objects. While a serious subject, some works are able to retain playfulness, an example being Igor Ruf’s video work The Cave (2015). The artist as actor recites the same lines over and over as he moves and dances around a cave space. Subtitles indicate that he is saying he has bananas and a guitar, among other basic necessities, and he doesn’t need much else. We see Ruf repeating names and asserting his identity, and it’s unbelievable in its goofiness. He touches on the ability objects have in shaping our memories and how those moments cumulatively form the perception we wish to have for ourselves, and for others to have of us, and he maintains a lightheartedness throughout.
Calum Craik has two pieces in the show that also examine, as he writes in an artist’s statement, “a hazy memory, actual events, and experience.” He is more interested in pop culture, however, as he feels that “everyday objects act as vehicles to question and imagine…documents, photographs, and raw materials act as a mechanism to reconsider truths, events, or invent new possibilities.” This certainly rings true in Lesiure (2013). A space blanket, shiny and geological-looking, is situated across a small image of a California pool that lays flat on the floor. Above this image hangs a small bowling ball resembling the earth. This creates a shadow on the lower left corner of the pool’s image – a shadow over a typical representation of leisure and relaxation. The space blanket is underscores the reminder that there is something always bigger looming.
While Craik’s work is more philosophical, Nikola Uzunovski’s is actively involving geography and the celestial with history and experience. Prints from his photographic series My Sunshine (2008) are on display. They are captivating in the artist’s attempt to create artificial sunlight in the Arctic Circle by positioning an aerostat-figure in the area. Sometimes it is flying, other times it is lifted by individuals. The results are photographs where beaming, ethereal light emerges through the globed figure and is reflected in the sky to appear like the sun itself. The location was chosen because the sun stays below the horizon and can’t give light to the ground beneath. Uzunovski states, “This phenomenon has a massive influence on the emotional state and relational dynamics of the local population.” By combining scientific technology and art he transforms the lived experience. The artist literally and metaphorically shedding light in dark areas. And he looks to have “extensive participation of the public, moving from the scientific community… to embrace whoever wishes to join.”
Sometimes silly, sometimes ironic, and sometimes poignant, Sextant (named after one of the first instruments that followed astral navigation) is nonetheless profound, enhanced by the intimacy of the space. It’s definitely worth a visit before the close on August 30th.
NURTUREArt is located in Bushwick, at 56 Bogart Street.