I-20, New York
By GRADY T. TURNER
Dawn may appeal to the industrious noon, maybe the respite of the accomplished, and midnight may be shared by witches, who claim it as their hour, and the ambitious, who burn its oil. But dusk is the day's liminal moment, the last tenuous gasp of reason before evenings are subsumed in the deep plunge of irrational night, the threshold between logic and dreams, sobriety and inebriation, sense and the sensual.
This fragile brink is the muse of David Hunt, a contributor to Flash Art and curator of “Dusk” the first group show organized by I-20 Gallery. Hunt smartly seizes upon dusk as a metaphor that resonates well with a generation of artists who are mixing cocktails of Minimalism and Pop, while drunk with the old wine of Surrealism. Michael Phelan pours it all into tanks picked up at the local pet store, stacking rows of standard ten-gallon aquariums into modernist grids, then lining their bottoms with the fish tank's accouterments of fantasy. Kiki Seror brings online chat rooms into the cold light of day in Married by Dusk, Killed by Dawn: 1001 Nights, compiling the language of cybersex into fantastic designs with the cool eroticism of a latter-day Scheherazade.
"Dusk" also faces the terrors of night with Matt Bakkom’s conversion of the gallery's freight elevator into a cinema housing "Night of the Living Dead." While this classic B-movie is appreciated in retrospect as social commentary, Bakkom focuses on the visceral, operating his "cinevator" with spine-jarring stops and starts. Nightmares and dreams are the provenance of many of these artists. A digital movie loop by Haluk Akakce depicts a futuristic landscape defined by technology and fashion, realized with the help of space-age clothier Bushra Gill. The ideal dream piece is Kelly Lamb’s “Infinity” a video that features a nude woman performing underwater somersaults in a succinct summary of timelessness worthy of Bill Viola. Hunt’s fidelity to his subject is stunning in a show featuring some 20 artists. Each realizes a perfect circle in which dusk is recast as if a naturally occurring manifesto of Surrealism.