Inquirer Art Critic Art | Random imagery By Edward J. Sozanski Posted on Fri, Jun. 11, 2004
Much ado about nothing. "Subtle Nothings" in the Borowsky Gallery at the Gershman Y proceeds from "The Big Nothing," the citywide investigation of nothingness instigated by the Institute of Contemporary Art. The key word here is "subtle." The Borowsky show features multimedia works, all involving electronics and/or computers, that move or speak, sometimes in response to a viewer's movements. For instance, David McQueen's Swarm consists of a dozen tiny fan blades projecting from the wall on wires. It's supposed to suggest war planes; a swarm of bees seems more apt. Liz Phillips' Wavetable II generates visitor-triggered sound waves that create vibrations in a shallow pan of water. Lift the top of Meredith Monk's suitcase, and it sings to you. Pick up Chris Vecchio's red-yellow-and-blue cube, and it speaks. All the while, Andy Holtin's rotating sculpture draws a continuous circle and simultaneously erases it. Ray Rapp's modCubemon might be the subtlest piece of all. Nine television screens mounted in a stack of cubes continually shift color from red to yellow to green to blue. You keep waiting for something more profound to happen, but like the rest of the show, minimal effect is all you get. As curator Cheryl Harper advises in her gallery notes, "Take your time to discover each work, and enjoy almost nothing." I did, and I didn't. Gershman Y, 401 S. Broad St.