Continuing through August 28, 2010
Eight video or video-related pieces coalesce in \"The Second Program: Art Beyond the Frame,\" a taut and focused exhibition curated by Dallas art writer Charles Dee Mitchell. The exhibition bears a conservative yet impressive formalism. It offers a strain of video that amounts to painting that moves. The one borderline exception is Luke Murphy\'s \"The Longest Painting of Death,\" is a mid-sized projection of ochre and green colored lines, and is ironically based on Albert Pinkham Ryder\'s painting \"The Race Track (Death on a Pale Horse).\" For the piece, the artist scanned and then developed a special software program that stretches the pixels of the scanned image across a one-mile span that is traversed in 2 minutes and 11.2 seconds, the average speed of Secretariat.
Also mitigating any sense of non-traditional media is the fact that all works hang or are projected on the wall in simple and straightforward fashion. For example, Matthew Day Jackson\'s \"Little Boy and Fat Man\" is a two-channel video showing the two bombs dropped respectively on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan at the end of World War II. They hover in a downward position in mid-air. As artist in residence at MIT, Day Jackson shot facsimiles of the bombs inside the wind tunnel on campus that measures torque. David Askevold\'s \"Sixteen Candles\" (1990-91) is a single channel video projected on the wall. It consists of a close-up view onto a slowly rotating candelabra with sixteen disappearing candles, each of which represents a year of Askevold\'s deceased son\'s life. With the wrinkly vestiges of VHS (it was later shot through DVD), the rippling surface of this dark video lasts eleven minutes, just along enough for each candle to melt.
\"The Second Program\" may not embrace spectacle or innovative media, butrewards us nonetheless in its quietly ruminative, viz. painterly, sensibility.