Monday, December 23, 2013

Bleu Acier's experiment: First There is a Mountain. The Talks.

Master Printer Erika Greenberg Schneider and her husband, sculptor Dominique Labauvie took a bold step forward with the Greg Perkins "First There is a Mountain" show.

This exhibit marked the gallery's tenth Anniversary. Erika introduced the show in a fairly conventional fashion at first, then shifted gears, culminating with a reading of  Saint-Exupery's "The Little Prince", the part where he meets the Little Prince and draws sheep for him. In the context of the art show, this was quite a parable.

 This was followed by the first talk, a presentation by Architect and Urban Designer Petra Kampf, an extraordinary exploration into the nature and history of the way we perceive physical (and other types of) space, a multifaceted approach that rambled over a lot of ground while remaining tight conceptually. I had the privilege of talking with Ms Kampf after her presentation for a  bit. The topic of space happens to be one of my favorites.

The 2nd talk was by Alison Powell, writer and Curator of Books at Oxford Exchange. Her personal experiences training in the Sierra Nevada mountains -- and rock climbing, seamlessly mixed with the iconology of mountains in literature (as mountain-themed music played in the background). 

The third talk was by Donald Morrill, poet and Dean at UT. Titled "Then there is a mountain", in relation to poetry. Starting with the Romantic "Mont Blanc", by Shelly, Morrill explored the topic to the present through changes in consciousness.

Last, Aaron Walker took the approach from a documentary he has been working on about the internment camp at Heart Mountain where 10,000 souls spent their WWII in spartan accomodations in a cold and desolate place with one very odd mountain dominating their horizon and many of the photogeaphs taken in the camp.

These talks demanded the audience pay attention and engage as listeners just to follow the threads of thought. No concessions, no dumbing-down, only lean, hardcore ideas that form a conceptual holographic frame and successive recontextualizations for Greg Perkin's very good post-photographic show. 

Bleu Acier continues to be an influential wellspring for the arts in the area. 

---- Luis

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