Playing with time and illusion

arts / Article

January 10, 2014 by Anne Tschida

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Still from Carola Bravo.

You can meet the artist Carola Bravo when you walk into the ground-floor room set aside for her videos at the Zadok Gallery, anytime of day. At least one version of her, as she covers a white room with irregular black lines in a wall-length video. “Legal Graffiti” is an immersive video, making the viewer question the dimensions of the space we are standing in, and the time we are experiencing, while watching a line-drawing made in what seems like a live performance. She is not really here, she is a video creation.

The ladders she used in the making of the video are physically replicated in the room, placed in front of the projection. Other people move across the screen at various times, and the whole thing can get disorienting as to where we ourselves are located.

The Venezuela-born artist also has a small-screen video, where she erases a cityscape, in another kind of nod to the art-making – and temporal nature – of graffiti. This is engaging work, playing with real-time and  real spaces, in an illusionary and representational way.

It’s just one of the intriguing works currently up in the huge Zadok gallery. Another illusionary line piece that creates an entirely different feel comes from Mexico-born Gabriel Dawe, a multi-colored thread installation that will make your eyes bug. Seriously, you have to look away and return your gaze to take in all the twists and spaces, real and induced, that the corner piece offers.

Video robot from Peter Zarkisian Video robot from Peter Zarkisian.

More illusion in a far more concrete form comes from the fantastic Brooklyn-based artist Patrick Jacobs, whom Zadok featured at Art Miami’s Context booth. It is easy to miss these two works – but don’t. He makes tiny landscapes that you view through little peep-holes in the wall – resembling a model train set or some other diorama. Look closely, and you can see miniscule power lines rising above the flora of a meadow. Beautiful.

And another Zadok favorite, who has worked with the gallery’s curator Bernice Steinbaum for years now, also has new works on display. New Mexico-based Peter Zarkisian has perfected his video works, which he projects into buckets, onto car doors, across book pages. In these new works, his “screens” are a couple of robots, who light up in psychedelic and  colors and then go dark, leaving only tiny video portholes of real human figures continuing to unspool.

Recent works from Carol Prusa are also featured, along with a lovely, delicate sculpture from Korean artist Seon Shi Bahk. There’s enough here to keep you busy for some time.

Carola Bravo’s “Legal Graffiti” runs through Feb. 28 at Zadok Gallery, 2534 N. Miami Ave., Miami; www.zadokgallery.com.

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