Sunday, May 18, 2008

Life on Mars - Haegue Yang + Ranjani Shettar

Friday May 16 2008 - Notes from Life on Mars, Part One

Yang and Shettar are both housed in the second floor galleries of the Carnegie Museum. I stood in the middle of Haegue Yang's installation of Three kinds of Light Painting for quite a while. It deserves even more examination. The color shiftings were complex; layers of light breaking and receding in waves. It made me think of the formal arrangements of music with repeating rhythmic themes, punctuated with intensity and silence. A viewer could choose a theme on which to focus and follow its permutations throughout the room. However, there is something to be said for remaining stationary while the themes come to you.

By contrast, Ranjani Shettar's Just a Bit More required movement to come alive. The work is comprised of netted beads of wax in a range of softly glowing jade. The nets were suspended in sheets, drawn taut in places and left to fall gracefully in others. It was like standing on the outside of a field of stars. It would have been interesting to be able to see this work from beneath, to look up into the star field. I can understand why it was restricted from that kind of access, it was exceedingly delicate. But still, I wonder what that would have looked like.

Both of these works were, quite simply, beautiful. Both spoke to me about rhythm, about density and sparseness. There is a sense of acknowledgement about the grandeur of life, the universe and everything. Their complexity was so alive, so textured and layered. Yang's work brought to me a sense of a cohort with the mysteries of the world. In Shettar's work, there is a distinct sense of observing from the outside. The two separate views of the universe in such close proximity provided a counterpoint of response.


ryanbakersfield said...

great show, definetely recommend checking it out.

here's some more info about ranjani's piece if you're interested.

Susan Constanse said...

Yes, and on Tues., July 15, 6:30-7:30 p.m., Ranjani Shettar will be at the Carnegie to give an artist talk. I'm looking forward to it.