Monday, April 19, 2010

Projected images become moving sculptures in Sarkisian exhibit at the UW Art Museum

Peter Sarkisian (American, b. 1965), Extruded Video Engine, Large Shape 1, Version 3, 2007, vacuum formed thermal plastic, video projection, 39 x 40 x 8 inches, photo courtesy of the artist. Click to View Flash Video Pop-up.

Wyomingarts visited the UW Art Museum's exhibits last Friday during a break in the Works of Wyoming "Starving Artists" seminars in Laramie.

"Peter Sarkisian: Video Works, 1996-2008" knocked the socks off Wyomingarts. We heard it before we saw it -- the plink-plink-plink of water, the pounding of what seemed like a giant hammer, the whirring of an engine.

The sound effects were only a small part of the exhibition. The pounding comes from a projected wall where -every minute or so -- an object hits it from the opposite side. There is no opposite side, but it sure seemed as if some very large person or machine lives behind the wall and is denting it with metal objects.

"Extruded Video Engine, Large Shape 1, Version 3" is a colorful machine projected upon a sculpture that makes it 3-D. The engine has many moving parts and emits various mechanical noises. Printed messages travel along a fan belt-like apparatus and disappear into the soul of the machine.

Words are inadequate to describe Sarkisian's work. You have to see it for yourself. You have until May 8 to do so.