It's love-in rather than mind-blowing
By Joan Lowndes
Electrical Connection, the week of exhibits and special events staged at the Vancouver Art Gallery by Intermedia, is not as mind-blowing as it's title would suggest. Rather it is a gentle massage, a love in.
Vancouver has recovered from it's first wonderment at flashing lights and electronic gimmickry. This years presentation as compared to last year's is not only larger but more diversified and a great deal more subtle.
A beautifully relaxed atmosphere prevailed on opening night. Kikapoo Joy Juice was distributed free and groups of fantastically garbed people created a mixture of carnival cum Beaux Arts ball.
Anna Gilbert wearing a costume designed by Evelyn Roth, was all lit up, literally, by bands of tiny lights around her black jump suit while another model with a lei of small white balloons resembled an ancient fertility goddess.
In the Gallery vestibule the euphoric mood was set right away by the light sculpture of Rainbow Products (Paul Wong, who , after teasing us as Huang Bau-xi, is now undergoing a Baxter-like metamorphosis).
As the rainbow man he is concerned with tapering Pyrex lids differently colored on every face, here drawn with neon and reflected in a reflective mirror.
Across the entire end of the main gallery is a monumental sculpture composed of 80 TV's, piled up at the left four deep then crumbling into a junk pile.
This multi-media mural is the joint imagining of Tom Shandel, Bill Fix and Dave Rimmer.
It should be viewed both from a distance and close up for it's surrealistic detail, such as windows, curtains and a potted plant on one set, the headlight of a car jammed into another.
................a wheel chair. Two children, among the many who enjoyed the show to the hilt, monopolized this.
Among the most poetic experiences achieved with simple means was an entire small room, it's walls painted black, strewn with white gravel. this could be sat in and played with like sand at the seashore.
Gathie Falk's Excelsior was of a similar order. A bale of tightly bound excelsior formed an immovable pillar, and a Plexiglas bin beside it contained loose excelsior that could be scattered at will. It's random patterns did not create a "mess," but related always back to the source.
And then there was Ed Varney with his wife Bonnie and their cat's sister in their kitchen. People sat on the floor or read or had a cup of tea with Ed, who had managed to write a short concrete poem despite the distractions.
Ed apparently got the idea for transporting his kitchen into the Gallery from seeing Segal pieces during New York 13. As persons stood around in the soft light, they did in fact become sculpture.
Among the non-participatory exhibits mention should be made of Joan Balzar's impressive Anvil Series of paintings and of a cube with shimmering turquoise and pink lines running through it — a kinetic Jackson Pollock.
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