“Internal Mechanisms,” a compact and challenging new group show at High Energy Constructs, presents to the viewer a series of compelling curios. In Dhavid Streicher’s Dante’s Dinner (2007), a lone shower head positioned high on the gallery wall sprouts a stream of yellow yarn; in Emilie Halpern’s 1500 Light Years (2006), a naïve looking kaleidoscope perched on a tiny shelf points at a found image of some celestial landscape; and in Laura Forman’s Thicket (2007), a dense and monumental tangle of tree limbs—both natural and artificial—looms ominously from a gallery corner. The show’s contents look fresh and resist easy categorization, combining the formal conventions of photography, sculpture, video art, and installation into singular constructions. Together they convey the impression of a contemporary art world defined not only by its transcendence of traditional media, but by its pluralism and embrace of deeply individual practices. That message is invigorating, even optimistic, and timely within the context of this gallery’s Chinatown setting—a neighborhood banking on the appeal of innovative new art to dramatically redefine itself.
(*Images from top to bottom: Internal Mechanisms, July 18 - September 1, 2007, High Energy Constructs, Installation View, 2007, Courtesy of the Artists and High Energy Constructs. Internal Mechanisms, July 18 - September 1, 2007, High Energy Constructs, Installation View, 2007, Courtesy of the Artists and High Energy Constructs.)