Evoking the space it lives in. An appearance of a figure. People crowd around, with their cameras and eyes. Hands reach out into the world and feels a bit of grace, while lost in the deep abyss.
Darkness slithering up producing human hands. MoMa presents us with a window into the story of Perth Amboy, New Jersey where on an suspecting window develops the Virgin Mary's face as a smudge on the glass. Drawing in the miracle-seekers and fanatical, slowly transforming that once lonely apartment into a place of worshi . Their hands feel the image as though they were the monolith from Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Cue: Strauss's Also Sprach Zarathustra”
Illusion and faith mirroring our contemporary society full of artistic stimulation left and right. Religion in art, and art as religion. It has one thinking if possibly we have taken a detour in society but the detour has never ended, and we slowly become moral police within our own mind. Their arms ooze out of the shadows only to embrace the reflection of the creator billowing and billowing an atmosphere that grows on the viewer. Stranger yet, a photo of the sky is hung up in the middle of the gallery, feeling as though we are circling around the room toward this one vision. Believing, and its deep connection to seeing. Such ideas circulate through a piece that, for this artist, has an unusual vagabond quality for what one may consider a religious reverence. In this case those with faith do see this as the appearance of grace, yet treat it overtly earthly almost sentient nature. Leaving you only to wonder, Why?
The Chromogenic print shows us people obsessed with an image, and only under the right lighting, you look closely at the picture frame and you see your self in the glass's reflection. Is this a comment on zealotry? Or! A statement on the false importance these images bare, that religious society demand to be taken seriously. The darkness that leads into the interior leaves an erie taste in your mouth, something that should contrast the identity of what christians aspire to, physically showing a damned soul begging for some kind of vindication. As we peer from the other side of the photo from a white air conditioned room where the people are charming and middle class, we look at the treasures of our spiritual warriors, and they're trying to tell us something. We can yell all we want but they're stuck in this still, in this 2 dimensional existence. Her work has a very down to earth aesthetic maybe to find us in our own world before she presents us with ideas we may perceive as intangible or too gospel. The 26 x 21 inch (66.0 x 53.3 cm) photo is a modest size in comparison to other frames in her selection, and in the entire museum. The photo harmonizes with the rest of her work creating a level of cohesion unlike many other instillations where one
piece is not competing for the attention of another. This level of harmony really is close to godliness as she is trying to evoke heaven within our selves why simultaneously making it feel unattainable. Religion and pop culture share many similarities, creating musicians and tv actors into demi gods and now we have high art, where we now begin to praise what our brains tells us to believe is grand. Idols are an important thing in all cultures but its always interesting when freak occurrences are the source of worship and or salvation. For the installation, she has hung the photographs on all four walls of the gallery and filled the center with a labyrinth made from brown cardboard.
Overall it is a great thought provoking exhibition, however I couldn't help but feel she had too many rolls of film and there's a level sloppiness or arbitrary qualities to each photo that reflects back on to the work. The documentary style wasnt one that seemed be as coheesive unlike the rest of her work like the hand made scultpures that invade the exhibit and its inhabitants. MoMa has always been a home for the path least wandered and thats is what makes the modern art a relelvent force, however this is where Harrison substitutues innovation for meaning, the grandiose for the modest. Only artists can make the worls and turn it inside out yet make it still look familiar. Manhattan is a strange place but Harrison shows us that New Jersey could attract a similar allure if looked at a certain way. MoMa has always been a good place to find something you've never seen before but, unless you want to feel something you've probably felt before this may be the kind of thing you would be interested in checking out.
I give it a 7/10 Andreys.