Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Off and Running: First Night Pods Show, Part II

Kim Radatz, "I Am"

The "I Am" installation, by Kim Radatz, who's been reviewed on AT several times [Link], [Link], (and more) was of a conceptual nature, prompting the viewer to ponder the question of identity. In the enclosure, there were narrow, long vertical mirrors in which one would see themselves, though not fully, which I suspect was by design. I think the space could have used a bit more light.

Kim Radatz, "I Am"

Towards the back were round plastic or glass covered disks with "I Am" sayings, things like I am beautiful...I am fat...I am my mother...and all other things we pin on ourselves or others pin on us. There were so many of them, and they related to things we've said or thought of ourselves, others, and/or heard others say about themselves. Qualifiers, adjectives put-downs, ego-ballooning statements, you name it.

 After emerging from that intimate confrontation with the many aspects of the self, around the side of the Pod, and there was a table full of T-shirts with the words "I Am" then a line below where one would write what they wanted. The idea was to wear it during the rest of First Night. And before they walked away, Kim took a photograph of them (and me). They can be seen here [Link].

The T-Shirt table, @ "I Am"

On the right is a photograph of people writing on the "I Am" line. There was a suggested $5 donation per shirt to help Kim offset the cost of the shirts. I did this, too. Thinking about the process, I realize that we fill in that line. Our identity is ultimately up to each of us (within reason, of course). We are not one thing, nor condemned to be one, either. There is a wide variety of signifiers and roles for each of us. Be what you want to be. It's up to you.

Kim brought a moving, empowering experience and process to her installation.

Sara Mc Clarnon came to my attention last year with a very good small sculpture shown at the Morean Arts Center [Link], where she is listed as a Hot Shop retail sales associate. On her website, Sara is listed as being a recent BA grad from Eckerd College in Art with minors in Math and Italian.
Sarah Mc Clarnon, "Wave". (Helpful volunteer modeling).
For First Night, her iPods installation was "The Wave". The walls of the space had tape in a zig-zag waveform, and a crocheted green rope-like strand connected the peaks and lows, bringing in a three-dimensional aspect. People entered the Pod and carefully climbed in between the green strings. Sara chose the wave to emphasize this universal pattern because it is at the core of so many things in Nature (including us and all matter).

Blue Lucy's Pods Installation
Zen Glass Pods installation
Blue Lucy had a very neo-60's looking space, complete with UV lights and glowing paint. Next to it was the Zen Glass Installation. Beautifully lit and designed, the glassworks themselves were a little on the small side for the viewing distance.

There were so many great performances and fun things to do at First Night...I want to emphasize how fun and diverse it was Thousands of people had a wonderful time. I want to thank First Night and the Pods people for putting on a memorable New Years'.

Dundu Dole Dancers at Museum of Fine Arts

1 comment:

  1. Luis,
    What would Tampa Bay do without you?! And how the heck do you get around to all of the events to cover them as completely as you do? Thank you for all you do for the art community!!!

    Re your nice review about the First Night event, I have one correction about the t-shirt part of my installation- the $5.00 donation was suggested to help me offset the costs of the shirts. It was just suggested as I wanted all people to have one no matter if they could afford it or not. I had printed up signs stating that, but never got the chance to post them. Sorry about not getting all the info out there.

    I'm working on another version of this installation, we'll see where it takes me.

    Until the next time, have a great day!