"Making art is an active pursuit. Artists draw, paint, sculpt, form, map, chart, blend, weld, cut, film, etc. The list goes on and on. Motion Sensitive is about the motion of creating art; it also explores the very idea of movement.
Nature provides us with all sorts of action. The cycle of day and night allows us to perceive the earth's rotation; shooting stars bring our attention to the sky; and rain compels us to open our umbrellas. Where we live geographically determines what sort of natural activity we experience. From his studio near the Tyrrhenian Sea,Giuseppe Di Lelio creates work that explores the relationships human beings have with their surroundings. The tide as it reaches along the shore, the ripples in the surface of the water, and the concentric circles made by an object entering the water are all apparent in his work. In Ed Rath's brightly-colored narrative paintings, the weather, rushing rivers, and galloping horses are brought alive with tendrils and curliques, dashes and twirls. The abstract paintings and monoprints by Danny Simmons evoke a cosmic whirlwind.
When people relocate, they are likely to bring with them the things they cherish most. Clothing, objects, language, and recipes can be packed in trunks or stashed in one's memory. Yuri Marder'sThe Exile Project is a series of photographic portraits of people who have immigrated from other countries, with superimposed text written by the sitter in her or his native language. Relocation can also bring about a clash of cultures.
Hawaiian born Lynne Yamamoto's section of wallpaper from Smooth Cayenne depicts the Dunmore Pineapple (an 18th century architectural folly relating to the fetishization of the pineapple by wealthy Europeans), paired with the pineapple-shaped water tank that stood atop the Dole Pineapple cannery in Honolulu (symbolizing the pineapple as a commodity fruit, and as the colonization of the Islands).
Each of us moves in our own peculiar way. Think of how you can identify a friend a block away by recognizing her gait. Terry Rosenberg is drawn to this level of personalized motion - his seemingly abstract paintings are in fact portraits of the movements of specific individuals. There seems to be a universal desire in children to zoom full speed ahead - to run and jump, to roll and wiggle, to skip and hop. These are the joyous movements of childhood that Claudia Alvarez depicts in her paintings. We can train our bodies to harness some of that energy into the impassioned movements of a professional. Ramona Candy celebrates dance and music in her visual art, directly inspired by her years as a performer with an African/Caribbean dance company.
Finally, there is artwork that actually does move: work that is informed by animation or that maps a path. The viewer activates metalworker Alexandra Limpert's small hand-cranked sculptures. Her life-sized figure has a system of internal mechanisms, with a motorized heart and moving eyes set in motion by a sensor. Marina Zurkow's single channel animation, Weights and Measures, lures us into a watery environment where airplanes sinking, elephants swimming and plankton floating will be exhibited along with a related sculptural piece depicting an airplane tilting in space. The layers of animation are rendered as cut-out, stacked, cardboard pieces, implying motion all at once, not over time. Olalekan Jeyifous takes us on his navigation of Brooklyn by overlaying his re-imagined maps with drawing, painting, collage, and stenciled bits of information.
Three years ago I decided to take up hula hooping. It took me a month to be able to get the hoop to go around me for more that a few spins, but with practice I got stronger and more graceful. Eventually I found that hooping allowed my mind to focus and made me feel happier. As poet Gwendolyn Brooks so beautifully suggests, I hope that this exhibition inspires you to "conduct your blooming in the noise and the whip of the whirlwind."
Motion Sensitive will be used as a teaching tool for Rush Education Programs and will support the 2011/12 Rush Education Programs theme, Movement." -- Meridith McNeal, Curator