January 30, 2011

Art Review: No smoke, but lots of mirrors in fun ICA show


(Continued from page 1)

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Rozin’s “Peg Mirror,” 2007

Courtesy of the Vince Irwin Collection

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Alyson Shotz’s “Arnolfini 360 Degrees x 12,” 2006

Courtesy of the artist and Derek Eller Gallery, New York

Additional Photos Below



WHERE: The ICA at MECA, 522 Congress St., Portland

WHEN: Through April 10

HOURS: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday to Sunday; until 7 p.m. Thursday

INFO: 699-5029; www.meca.edu/ica

WHAT ELSE: An artists' talk will be held at 3:30 p.m. Feb. 10. Screenings of a short film and artist videos will be Feb. 17, March 17 and April 7.

If you let your eyes and body guide your experience, the "Arnolfini" piece is strong, and Shotz's "Luminous Armory" -- dozens of tall, slender and solidly squared mirrors stacked against a wall -- is explosively gorgeous.

Two of my favorite works in "Mirrors" are B?nger's video loop and photographic triptych of breaking mirrors in his studio. The camera in "Le Tournis" (dizzy) spins in the center of the artist's studio with frantic stop-action rhythm that shatters the event of the dropping of a mirror over the course of two minutes. The effect is mesmerizing and unlike anything I have ever seen.

Belanger's "Carre gris" is a photographic triptych of a large mirror (or three?) shattering while being dropped onto another. Once again, the work itself is gorgeous and fascinating within its own parameters. We see high-quality photography of something we may never see again. B?nger (from Montreal, while the others are from New York City) even lets himself be seen behind the camera in one of the shots to let us know what he is up to -- and I find that clarity refreshing.

It's key to distinguish between concepts that inspire art and the content of that art. This show may be driven largely by sophisticated critical theory, but its best works don't solely depend on it.

"Mirrors" is beautifully installed, and features excellent work by several rising stars of the art world. It's smart. It's fun. And by all means -- take the kids.

Freelance writer Daniel Kany is an art historian who lives in Cumberland. He can be contacted at:



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Additional Photos

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Gwenael Belanger’s “Carré gris” (left), 2010, and Daniel Rozin’s “Weave Mirror,” 2007

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Alyson Shotz’s “Luminous Harmonic,” 2008

Courtesy of the artist and Derek Eller Gallery, New York


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