Because their principal components are video projections, Rachel Schmidt’s landscape installations are essentially illusory. Yet they wouldn’t exist without the actual places, including Panama and Taiwan, where the local artist has had residencies. Her latest such sojourn was in Scotland, which Schmidt has brought back with her — virtually — in the form of “Cairn Sounds,” now planted in a darkened Hamiltonian Gallery.
Since prehistory, humans have had a tendency to mark and remake the landscape. One such ancient way is a cairn, an intentional pile of stones often assembled, among other reasons, for wayfinding or to commemorate a loss.
At Hamiltonian Gallery, Rachel Schmidt’s Cairn Sounds is comprised of five interrelated sound and video installations, made in collaboration with musician om.era.kev. The exhibition pieces together a landscape that’s locationally distinct but uncanny: clouded sky; rocks rearing through grass and heather moor; sheep idling around, and the occasional patch of obfuscating glitch.
“Heather Theresa Clark Aims for Epic with Monumental Political Installation at Hamiltonian. Clark’s work, in some ways, can be read as an embrace of a bigger way of framing global politics.” -Kriston Capps
There’s also a full wall of small, deformed pictures, printed on thin acrylic so they curl partly off the wall. This multitude, dignified yet precarious, is the most powerful chapter in McAfee’s history lesson.
Eric Gottesman’s latest work, ‘One Needs To Listen To The Characters One Creates’ explores and reinterprets the controversial Amharic novel ‘Oromaye’, by Baalu Girma. Gottesman’s work is on display at the Hamiltonian Gallery in Washington D.C until January 4th and the Contemporary Arts Center in New Orleans until January 19th.
Introducing the latest crop of Hamiltonian fellows, Hamiltonian Gallery’s “new. (now). 2013” ventures into political territory. Among the five-artist show’s confrontational works are two by Larry Cook. “M.L.” is a manipulated video of Martin Luther King Jr., waiting at a microphone and looking wary. “All American” depicts three figures, symbolically color-coded: models dressed in the battle gear of the Bloods (red) and Crips (blue) flank one in a Ku Klux Klan robe (white). The triptych may not be a fair representation of the U.S.A., but its bristling hostility is true to one aspect of the American character.
Through its Hamiltonian Fellows program, Hamiltonian Gallery has a decent track record of predicting new talent. Jonathan Monaghan, a 2009 fellow (and a former student of mine) has gone on to show with Curator’s Office; 2010 fellows Jessica Van Brakle and Elena Volkova have both enjoyed well-received shows at Hamiltonian and elsewhere. Annette Isham and Billy Friebele, two of last year’s fellows, are some of my favorite new artists in years. In the show “new. (now). 2013,” the current crop promises to carry the baton: Most of the five new fellows are doing good work—and some of them won’t settle for just that.
For an exhibit titled “The Salon of Little Deaths”—a name derived from the French term for orgasm—the Hamiltonian Gallery’s current production doesn’t show much sex. But in the works of Milana Braslavsky, there’s a not-too-subtle sexuality at play. Her still-life photographs feature pears, peaches, tangerines, yellow plums, and nectarines in all their bulbous, sensual glory, set on fabrics that range from fancy tablecloths to blue coverings that suggest aseptic hospital linens.
For an exhibit titled “The Salon of Little Deaths,” this dual-artist show at Hamiltonian Gallery doesn’t include much in the way of orgasm art, though at least in the works of Milana Braslavsky, there’s a not-too-subtle sexuality at play.
Jerry Truong’s 2010 Untitled (Bien Girl) is exemplary of the DC-based artist’s artwork, which seeks to “peel back the formal façade” with the goal of raising “new questions about history, memory, and identity” and gaining “a deeper understanding of our roles within a civil society,” according to the artist’s statement.
Artists Jerry Truong and Annette Isham make art that explores identity, history, gender and other personally and politically charged topics. So it makes sense for them to tackle the topic of school, where much of our sense of self is shaped.
Hamiltonian Gallery opened their newest exhibit on Saturday night, Call + Response, which paired DC writers with DC visual artists to create the exhibition. The concept: authors produced an “on call” written work, and in response, the artists created an installation piece. Then, the authors wrote another work in response to the visual art. Co-curated by William John Bert and Kira Wisniewski, and the Call + Response pairings are: Kyle Dargan (poetry) and Mia Feuer (sculpture), Michael Kimball (fiction) and Trevor Young (painting), Reb Livingston (poetry) and Matthew Mann (painting), Amber Sparks (fiction) and YAY Team (video), Danielle Evans (fiction) + Lisa Marie Thalhammer (painting).
Hamiltonian’s “New Now” exhibition introduces its five newest fellows, who collectively could be described as muted and cerebral with a hint of design. Joyce Lee appropriates light and structure from Old Master paintings in her pastel drawings, which she uses as backdrops for her videos—by forcing viewers to stare longer at the works than they otherwise would, she transforms self-reflection into aimlessness.
Right downstairs from it the freshly opened Hamiltonian showed us their second show, again a group effort, this time by Jonathan B. French, Michael Dax Iacovone & Anne Chan and a lovely party to go with it featuring live jazz from HR57 Allstars and a, as always, radiant Jackie Ionita as the hostess.
U Street’s new Hamiltonian Galleryopenedon October 11 to a bustling crowd of curious onlookers. Those who were there to see how the space had been transformed after its twenty years of vacancy were in for a treat right from the start, and greeted at the front door by Nao Matsumoto’s Whore, an oversized but functioning quarter-fed vibrator. The sculpture doesn’t much resemble your typical sex toy, but instead is a huge, anvil-shaped pink eraser perched atop a black metal box labeled “WHORE”, with a cutesy pink heart informing us it takes quarters only (it really does).
New works by Nao Matsumoto, Bryan Rojsuontikul and Ian MacLean Davis were on display for everyone’s visual (and other-sensory, especially when it came to those little vibrating fertility statues) enjoyment, Gavin Holland was in charge of musical acompaniement, director Jackie Ionita was the perfect hostess, the wine was flowing, the cheese was plentiful, and “everyone who is anyone” stepped out to check out the (quite amazing, really, new space)
The latest gallery to appear on the bustling U Street corridor is more than just another handsome room where artists can peddle their wares.
The 2,000-square-ft. Hamilton Gallery, half a block east of 14th Street, is a fully-green facility, for one thing. It’s also the showcase for Hamiltonian Artists, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping emerging artists find their footing in the commercial realm.