Bemis Opens an ‘Allusive and Enigmatic Nature of Sound and Form’
April 4th, 2019
Omaha, NE—At the moment, the gallery at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Art is divided by the works of two artists from opposite coasts, Lui Shtini and Alison O’Daniel. Together, their work offer audiences a spectacle of various media, 2-dimensional, 3-dimensional, photography, film, and even audio, all opening to the public tonight.
Shtini, based in New York, is a painter who has discovered a signature style with the collection of paintings and drawings that he has brought to Bemis, titled, Tempos. The idea came after a hiatus, and ironically, it was a traditional form that inspired his new image—portraiture.
To be clear, Shtini’s portraits bear no resemblance to anyone you might know, and their shapes hardly resemble anything human, animal or vegetable. This is not to say, though, that the abstract subjects of these paintings don’t have character. With oil paint on Masonite, Shtini demonstrates mood and textures that at a distance might look as real as the skin of an orange or a pile of hair.
On the other side of the gallery, multimedia artist Alison O’Daniel creates a multi-sensory narrative, stemming from her background in film.
The story of her installation, Heavy Air, begins with her semi-fictional documentary, The Tuba Thieves, which is based on—yes—the story of a real tuba stealing epidemic that happened in Southern California. The details on that are a bit too complicated to explain at the moment, but the concept of losing or recontextualizing sound is what is important to O’Daniel, who is hard of hearing.
O’Daniel has reinterpreted the presentation of sound in numerous way, for example, captioning her film in a way that offers a new translation of overlooked sound and music. Her other physical works emphasize the sounds that even those with the most acute hearing often ignore, like room tone.
She has compiled tones from all over the world so that they might occupy the gallery in place of more traditional objects.
O’Daniel has turned sound into a three dimensional narrative, hanging immense sound deadening curtains that will isolate and house these tones along with other displays for audiences to experience.
Lui Shtini’s Tempos and Alison O’Daniel’s Heavy Air open at Bemis tonight, April 4 at 6:00pm with an ARTalk at 6:30. Both exhibitions will be on display during regular hours until June 15t. For more information, visit BemisCenter.org.
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