Leaps into the Void opened on June 17th at Garis and Hahn. Shamanism, Meditation, Transcendence, Oblivion leaves to the imagination a wide-open port from which to launch from.
States of consciousness come and go, while stages are a permanent developmental level of consciousness. I know that in time, we will see these types of shows curated with such specificity.
Works by Gwyn Joy, Sky Kim, Michael Maxwell, Joe Nanashe, and Phoebe Rathmell illustrate spiritual transcendence. With the exception of Joe Nanashe, the works all explore from the perspective of the witness.
Perhaps if any of the works were to spur on any bit of transcendence for the viewer, (not that the intention of the show is to do such a thing) it would be the sculptural installation by Joe Nanashe. Nanashe’s minimalist work is “..in examination of the role of fall and redemption, a major narrative device in Classical mythology and a recurring concept throughout the Western canon.”
Descending the stairwell of Garis & Hahn, leaving the clatter of opening night slowly behind, you transition into the droning sounds of two sets of four synthesizers stacked on the other’s keys. Bluntly immersed in the bright white light of a vertical row of large clamp lights attached to the rungs of an extended aluminum ladder, the artist scored tones guide you to “celestial ascent.” Use of light and sound are household items common place in dislodging a person from their order of thought and thinking, and as one becomes accustomed to the new surroundings, a new order is formed.
If you dare, the gallery has provided a pair of low slung leather chairs encouraging your stillness in the midst of chaos—providing modern day conveniences paired for celestial adventures.
What makes this even more complex, is this space that the gallery suggests the work of the artists occupy. In this instance, what is revealed by any of the works is only one aspect of traveling into the so called void. So called solely because the most of us have yet to discover the valley of immeasurable depth. This is not a judgement, more like an observation. In the manner of explorers and warriors, no matter East or West, who take to territories new to them—filled with life and things, and people, but sprung from their foundational compass, unchartered for them these new places are bereft of the comforts of home. Languages and symbols, devoid of meaning, the connotation here is frightening, or at least the cause of trepidation.
Yet this Void is everything and nothing at all; the constant source of life, ever bursting forward, but always silent as the beginning of time—the Zero before the moment.