Opening Friday January 20th, 6-8pm
Spencer Brownstone Gallery opens 2006 with our second one-person exhibition by Zilvinas Kempinas. Kempinas’ ‘Flying Tape’ installation at the gallery in 2004 was one of the most memorable solo debuts that season and the artist follows-up with two equally stunning new projects.
In the front gallery, ‘Columns’ continues the artist’s startling and evocative employment of the unusual medium of unspooled videotape. Thirteen floor-to-ceiling columns of stretched tape will transform walking through the space into a dramatic physical and optical experience. The tape is stretched lengthways so that its thin edge and wide edge are seen alternately, creating a vibrant and disorienting effect as one moves around the columns. Masterfully manipulating the unusual physical properties of tape – lightweight yet strong and flexible – ‘Columns’ also extends its sense of confounding materiality to the gallery itself, subverting the common load-bearing association we expect of such an architectural feature.
In the back gallery, Kempinas presents another new piece that immerses us experientially. ‘Bike Messenger’ is a 4-channel video/eight-channel audio installation that represents a kind of crazy ad-hoc, apotheosis of home theatre surround-sound. Rigging four cameras to his bicycle, Kempinas documents a one-hour journey through Manhattan. His starting point random and his destination unimportant, Kempinas’ only imperative was to keep moving. The resulting installation recreates the artist’s odyssey by projecting the synced camera footage on four surrounding walls, creating an exhilarating thrill-ride environment for the viewer.
The term ‘viewer’ ultimately becomes redundant in describing our experience of Kempinas’ installations. His work startles us out of gallery-going mode and engages our senses and our intellect in a direct and entirely original manner.
Born in Lithuania in 1969, ZIlvinas Kempinas has been based in New York since completing his MFA at Hunter College in 2002. The artist had his first solo show at Spencer Brownstone Gallery in 2004 and was included in the solo 'Projects' series at PS1 Contemporary Art Center.