Head games

By GREG COOK  |  June 10, 2010

Imagist Poem has nine record-album covers displayed on two wooden shelves. Sloat has altered the band names and titles so that the texts, read from album to album, become Ezra Pound's 1916 poem "In a Station of the Metro," which condensed the experience of a rush of people in the train station into one haiku-like sentence: "The apparition of these faces in the crowd;/Petals on a wet, black bough." Sloat, too, is trying to take the mass-produced profusion of modern life and reshape it into art. Imagist Poem is an ambitious piece, both fascinating and a bit muddled, with all its references — the individual album covers offer a mountain valley, a band (the Faces), a panther — in turn making reference to something else. It's like a neat-o riddle, but once you figure it out, you might not feel the need to stick around.

I'm most moved by Requiem (Off the Wall), which returns to Michael Jackson now that he's dead. Jutting out from a corner is Jackson's fold-out record album Off the Wall, which features a full-body photo of Jackson. Sloat punched holes all around the photo and mounted spotlights next to it, casting Jackson's silhouette in a field of stars onto the opposite wall. It transforms the record sleeve into a funny, beautiful, magical homage to the late King of Pop.

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