Slash: Paper under the Knife

15 Jan

Slash: Paper under the Knife is quite possibly the best museum exhibit I have seen in ages. Installed in the 4th and 5th floors of the Museum of Arts and Design at Columbus Circle, Slash completely changes your conception of what can be done with paper. Two of my favorite works were categorized in the Dissecting the Past: Myths and Memories section of the show. (The show is divided into numerous sub-categories, a really beneficial tactic for the viewer because it provides a direction for what the artist’s intentions were). Andrew Scott Ross’s Stones and Rocks and Stones and Bones, 2009 is exhilarating. The actions and groupings of the cave paintings and figures are at the same time miniature and utterly dynamic. The crumpled paper from which they were born provides the landscape, an apt setting.

Rob Carter’s Stone on Stone video employs stop animation to show construction, deconstruction and subsequent reconstruction of architecture throughout history. To a girl raised on Monty Python, the style was reminiscent of Terry Gilliam’s animation, but this only added to its intrigue. Mia Pearlman’s site specific iNRUSH truly paid homage to the medium being honored, tethered to the wall with paperclips and pushpins. To make the potentially fragile medium of paper loom so dominantly over the viewer and the space completely alters our preconception of paper.

I honestly could rave about every artist included in the show, though I must admit I favored the works featured in the following categories: Dissecting the Past, Myths and memories; Form and Space, Slicing Architecture; and Shredding the Word. I think this is because these works tended to combine an imaginary space with a larger idea, which is what papers has traditionally been used to portray through its uses in literature, cartography, etc.

Slash: Paper under the Knife honors not only the end result of an artist’s process but the artist and medium themselves, two things often not given enough attention in museum exhibits but inevitably extremely interesting aspects of the work. And that is what makes the Museum of Arts and Design such an enjoyable museum experience. A visitor has the opportunity to visit artists working in open studios on the 6th floor, the exhibits’ touch screen televisions allow you to watch interviews for every artist, and in place of the typical audio guides you can simply call the listed number on your cell phone next to a work and hear the curator’s insight into the piece.

Slash: Paper under the Knife at the Museum of Arts and Design is the perfect antidote to museum fatigue.

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2 Responses to “Slash: Paper under the Knife”

  1. Eliz January 16, 2010 at 2:11 am #

    Nice job kid. I am very confident that your future is bright in the world of “the museum”. You really are going to blow everyone away…I can’t wait!

  2. Caitlin February 5, 2010 at 5:51 pm #

    I agree, this has to be one of the best shows i’ve seen in a long time, maybe in a forever. And you picked out the same favorites as me! (admittedly, i probably would have thought that no matter which you picked out, cause they were all sort of my favorites…)
    Especially Stone on Stone though. it was just so surprising; video art tends to make me angry about 87% of the time, so seeing one i actually liked makes me like it even more.
    …it was just so JOYFUL in the way that he used the medium. and i thought Gilliam right away too… haha. i think the sound effects played a BIG part in that. and really, the piece overall. it made it more fun.

    And by the way, you totally never told me you started a blog! i ran into Robyn at the mall, and she mentioned it, and i was like what?

    And by the way, i miss you!

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