Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Directions: Grazia Toderi

Where: Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

When: through September 5, 2011

Well, off I went again to the Hirshhorn, and yet again, I came away shaking my head. This exhibit features two video projections by Grazia Toderi, an Italian artist, and I'm not sure I really understood either of them.

One is called Orbite Rosse, and it seems to be a nighttime cityscape: lots of lights in the darkness. The description compared it to landing at an airport at night but since the viewer never gets closer to the city, that comparison falls apart after a few minutes watching. You see the city through two large ovals, that are much like looking at something through binoculars. There are rings of stars that circle through every so often - lots of bright lights generally, but nothing much going on.

The second projection is called Rosso Babele, which is apparently a reference to the Biblical Tower of Babel. It's meant to show the futility of architecture in connecting the earth to the heavens, a point I do appreciate. The description posits that the Internet is the only human construct that "literally connects earth to sky." How does it do that exactly? I declare myself mystified. For a hilarious description of what literally means, see this Oatmeal cartoon: http://theoatmeal.com/comics/literally. The projection, pictured above, features two screens, one upside down, that are collections of lights and redness. There are helicopter noises and bursts of light, but that's about it. Oh yes, those circles of stars are back.

Verdict: It won't take long to watch these; I spent about 15 minutes total, and felt like I got a pretty good idea of what was going on. I didn't get much back for my time investment, however, so you may want to give this a miss.

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