Chan we can believe in

Paul Chan at the Carpenter Center, ‘Keeping Time’ at the PRC, Julia Hechtman at Artists Foundation, Inaugural Exhibition at Walker Contemporary
By EVAN J. GARZA  |  October 29, 2008

Paul Chan, 5TH Light

“Paul Chan: Three Easy Pieces” at Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts at Harvard University, 24 Quincy St, Cambridge | November 6–January 4 | 617.495.3251

“Keeping Time: Cycle and Duration in Contemporary Photography” at Photographic Resource Center at Boston University, 832 Comm Ave, Boston | November 7–January 25 | 617.975.0600

“Julia Hechtman: Landshifter” at Artists Foundation, 516 East Second St, South Boston | November 8–December 20 | 617.464.3559

Inaugural Show at Walker Contemporary, 450 Harrison Ave, Boston November 7–December 20 | 617.290.0548
If you’ve visited the Institute of Contemporary Art at any point in the last few years — in either of its physical incarnations — there’s a good chance you’ve seen Paul Chan’s work. (His might be the only floor-projected video installation you can recall.) It’s the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts at Harvard University, however, that’s writing the next chapter for Chan in Boston. Opening next Thursday, November 6, “THREE EASY PIECES” will feature the fifth work in his seven-part cycle of digital-video installations projected onto the ground, plus a single-channel video piece filmed in Iraq and an animated digital video projected onto something called a “sparkle vellum” screen. (Sparkle motion, anyone?) Using characters set in a universe that is part paradise, part apocalypse, Chan’s digital-video pieces (as well as his documentary-style work) function as entertainment and as a critique of the ramifications of war and of our post-9/11 global culture.

Making light of less destructive properties, “KEEPING TIME: CYCLE AND DURATION IN CONTEMPORARY PHOTOGRAPHY” offers work by a handful of artists who explore time as both experience and construct. Opening November 7 at the Photographic Resource Center at Boston University, the show explores the effects of long photographic exposures and varying methods of timed light capture as well as the influence of the human factor (when to shoot and for how long) and celestial cues (sunrise, sunset, star patterns in the evening sky) on photographic decisions.

Julia Hechtman isn’t as inclined to leave so much to chance. In “LANDSHIFTER,” which will go up in the video room at the Artists Foundation on November 8, we find Hechtman (founder and co-director of the Proof Gallery) controlling nearly everything. Set in a serene forest nook, the single-channel video installation features several seconds of pure uninterrupted nothingness briefly interrupted by periodic images of the artist popping up in the distance and foreground. Each candid appearance is carefully placed within the peaceful surroundings — and with just enough presence to disturb that peace.

Also content to do her own thing is Stephanie Walker, who’s opening her own gallery, WALKER CONTEMPORARY, with an inaugural group show on November 7. The director of Boston’s Chase Gallery from 2003 to 2007, Walker moved to Los Angeles for a year with her husband, where she was a private dealer. Her gallery roster is a collection of emerging and mid-career artists she met on the West Coast; her new space is the one that Gallery Kayafas leaves behind as it moves upstairs.

On the Web
Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts at Harvard University:
Photographic Resource Center at Boston University:
Artists Foundation:
Walker Contemporary:

Related: Staycation, Primitive soul, Photos: Boston's Combat Zone, Burlesque (NSFW), More more >
  Topics: Museum And Gallery , Harvard University, Boston University, Visual Arts,  More more >
| More

Most Popular
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   DISCOTECHNIQUE  |  June 11, 2009
    Break out your hottest moves — a forthcoming exhibition in South Boston asserts that the path to abstraction could go through dancing.
  •   MARITIME AFTER TIME  |  June 03, 2009
    There's no question about the Peabody Essex Museum's unwavering love of all things nautical. How many other museums employ a curator of maritime art and history (in this case, Daniel Finamore)?
  •   STAYCATION  |  May 28, 2009
    With some contemporary-art spaces holding off on summer programming, June's First Friday celebration at the Harrison Avenue galleries may be the strongest one until the fall season, when both the traffic and the collectors return.
  •   FOLK MY BRAINS OUT  |  May 19, 2009
    Toby Kamp's 'The Old, Weird America: Folk Themes In Contemporary Art' at The Decordova Museum
  •   VIVA MODERNISM  |  May 12, 2009
    Long before the threat of swine flu, Mexico was the scene of an outbreak of a very different kind: Modernism.

 See all articles by: EVAN J. GARZA