Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Fluxus Redux

For some time now, I've been building momentum to re-enter blogspace, and last night’s happening at Waterfall Arts gave me the push. Though innocently billed as one in a series of monthly lectures that Waterfall, in Belfast, Maine, has offered for the past 4 years, this turned out to be a sixties-style happening, an event in which, to quote the tech man, “form and content merged." The audience was treated to a flow of old videos, readings, songs and magazine stills, backgrounded by an iPhoto slide show that repeated itself through various fades and washes and featured a trio of pink bunnies borrowed from North Carolina prison d├ęcor. All of this occurred in fits and starts amid a physical tangle of equipment, wires and stacks of magazines that was an installation in itself.

The presenter of this curiously charming event was Daniel Beckman, a peripatetic artist, musician and people magnet who has landed in Belfast as the Facilities Manager at Waterfall. He is also the Curator of the current show there, titled "Treading Lightly: One Foot at a Time." Two hundred ninety-six artists answered the call for this non-juried exhibition which specified that each work fit into one cubic foot of space. Beckman has ordered the work in a grid structure on the gallery walls, with overflow on cases and stands, a Wunderkammer in which no individual work is given priority. Meaning evolves through looking, and by looking, I came upon the one work that says it all. Wesley Reddick's "Footprint" is a wooden box inside which, by means of the viewer's turning a crank, a footprint appears and disappears in a bed of rice. Ephemeral, Hindi, and very clever. Like the footprint, the exhibition disappears on May 28, so you still have time to walk over and see it.