page 12 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, December 2, 1988
Artists 'define the bush'
3Y ILANA WEINSTEIN
REALITY is nothing more than what we make of it; it is simply a
subjective perception of what we absorb. This is a concept which artists
love to play with, for it leaves their work open to infinite interpretations
- nothing need be set a certain way or clearly defined. For example, the
statue in Alain Resnais' avante garde film, Last Year at Marienbad,
represents nothing in itself; it is given its meaning according to how each
individual perceives it.
Such is the case with the exhibit now on display at Rackham Gal-
leries, Defining the Bush By Beating Around It: A Show of Installations.
Occasionally bizarre and always unusual, this show throws its audience
nto reaction. And the artists - Curt Wallin, Ed McDonald, Richard
hapman, Emily Keenan, Luke Mandle, Ellen Lader, and Liz Patek -
nt spontaneous and unlimited responses - for that is the beauty of
teir work; everything is simply how you happen to see it.
The show consists of four rooms, each filled with a unique creation by
a particular artist(s). The work "Innerds" by Chapman and Keenan struck
me 7 recisely what it sounds like. The floor is strewn with the inner
par of .ars, long tangled pink rope, and tire tracks which give way to
photos of squashed animals. I took this as a symbolic ode to animals
killed by reckless drivers. Though animal lovers may have a difficult time
with the'photos as they are quite graphic, the set-up has great impact
(pardon the pun) and the rope, or intestines, as I interpreted it - really
gets the message across.
The "Mental Furniture" of Wallin and McDonald is the most thought-
provoking of the four works as every angle of the room gave me a new
insight into the overall theme. Arbitrary objects - a tree, door, chair, and
gynecologist's examining table - link together linearly through dirt on
the floor in the shape of a person and threads attached to the ceiling. A
slide show flashes charged words above the table. From the head of the
room the bare space surround-ing the exhibit is very apparent.
Yet there is fluidity and movement in the space; the threads draw
together and centralize everything, just as we register certain things from
nnr enviroment (things which could be as irrelative as the objects chosen
:or this piece) and form concepts. The dirt in the examining table shows
that the final outcome of our thoughts is always shaped by our intrinsic
make-up; the dirt is symbolic of the substance of the person. Standing
from the perspective of the table, I faced the projector and was blinded by
its light intermittantly, showing that there can always be something in
our unconscious blocking what we really think.
"The Secret Garden", by Lader and Patek, is an oasis away from the
city's trash-strewn walls which represent man's decay and accumulation.
The rden is a call to life; leaves and trees intimate the productivity of
natu We take solace from the tree that springs from a crumbling wall
and find hope in its existence. The trees also appear very phallic, again
sym?- ;ing rebirth.
A Lometric, linear definition of space is the function of Mandle's "A
Special Composition." Using light as a medium, arks of elecricity flash
between copper rods. Though I was unable to see the arks energize the
fluorescent light tubes on the wall, judging from what I have observed,
the final effect should be akin to a spectacular light show.
These four rooms provide an "atmosphere of art" in which one is forced
to interact with the surrounding enviroment. The experience will vary
radically for each individual because these works are so provocative and
unclearly stated. The images can be quite disturbing - they linger and
unsettle the mind as they cannot be patly explained away.
DEFINING THE BUSH BY BEATING AROUND IT: A SHOW OF
INSTALLATIONS. The show will run until December 3 at the Rackham
Alpen Pantry has a selection of over 100 gift
packages & gourmet food baskets. Starting
at $5.49. Build your own! We'll be
happy to mail your gift selections.
The perfect holiday gift! I
If you're curious about just exactly how one defines the bush by beating around it, this photo should give you a hint.
It's part of the exhibit, Defining the Bush by Beating Around It, which involved a number of multi-media exhibits
like this one. Here, dancers move expressively around an "installation" while live musicians play in the background.
Tommy C onwell & the
This album illustrates just what a
strong local rock scene can
accomplish. After the Philadelphia-
based Rumblers sold 100,000 copies
of an independantly releas
CBS took note. Rumble i
fruit of that move.
The album leads off
Rumbler's excellent brea
romp "I'm Not Your M
manages to keep up the1
several more tracks strong
be hit singles in a better w
,ed record,since Rumble is a debut album, you
ed ecodprobably won't be able to find "Half
s the tasty a Heart," "Walkin' on the Water," or
the most danceable bar-rock song I've
with the heard in a while, "Workout," on two-
akthrough dollar slabs of vinyl with picture
4an" and sleeves, although they would all be
pace with in my dream juke-box.
enough to The songs are simple, catchy rock
vorld. But and roll with few surprises, except
for the somewhat odd (but ultimately
successful) simultaneous use of
organ and synth fills. Conwell had a
hand in the lyrics of most every song.
in combination with various
Rumblers or outside writers the likes
of Jules Shear and members of fellow
Phillies the Hooters. "Workout"'best
typifies his poppy boy-girl approach:
"Between workin and uh schoolin/
I'm always on the run/ Come on
little baby/ Let's have a little fun."
T I--Brian Jarvinen
(at least amazin')
What's amazing, blue, and can
be found in abundance on Friday
night? No, not a Bahama Mama,
but something just as appealing.
The University's newest vocal
group, Amazin' Blue, in their
winter concert, will perform a two
part jazz piece that showcases
Blue's a capella sounds.
The men and women of Blue
contribute their time and talents
to producing the fast and furious
style they've claimed as their own.
And this style has claimed
hem many fans as well, mostly
rom people who have caught
hem chortling on the steps of the
Grad at noon.
So lend your support to the
ew kid on the block. For $2
hey're cheaper than spiked
ropical punch and much tastier.
AMAZIN' BLUE performs their
irst winter concert tonight at 8
.m. at the Michigan Union
allroom. Tickets are $2.
IBOOK SHOP SALE
Sat., Dec. 3 -- 10-4
50% OFF ALL BOOKS
FBAn., Dec. 4-1-4:30
& on., Dec. 5-10-8
BG SALE -$3/bag
SHARE IN THE JOY
the cheese girt headquarters
ANN ARBOR 665-2539
BOOK SHOP RE-OPENS JAN. 14
Ann Arbor Public Library-Fifth at William
Friends of the Ann Arbor Public Library
University of Michigan
To learn more about the winter schedule, attend an
Information Meeting on December 5, from 4-5 pm,
University Hospital Amphitheater.
Call 936-4327 for further details.
Are you interested in what goes on
behind the scenes in a big show?
: You're in luck! We're looking for
backstage support staff, costume
and props handlers.
If you think you're in the least bit
'LIVE IN CONCERT
Decentbler 2, 1988 8:00)pm.
Michigan Union BallrooM
Genieral Amision8 200
Tickets a -ila lle al 1 h M ei igan Ulti~a- i Hon )ffei.
and all Ticket Ma'lcr oi dt-. Call 763-TKIS.
sftr. in it a.. _