Sunday, March 14, 2010

Michael Guidetti

Galleries and museums are, for all intents and purposes, standardized exhibition containers. The three multimedia works that comprise Michael Guidetti’s solo show ruminate on this form, each representing a discrete space used to show art. He sets down basic architectural frameworks in watercolor and effectively enlivens them with superimposed digital projections. Two of the works, Bounce Room 1 and Bounce Room 2 (all works 2009), depict modernist white-cube spaces overlaid with projected red, green, and blue blobs that ricochet against the depicted walls and ceilings. These elements are as playful and mesmerizing as a game of Pong, but they also highlight the infrastructure of projection technology—the RGB color model at the heart of most image production. Guidetti revels in stripping his subject down to its baseline, and while there’s the potential for tech gimmickry to overshadow the works, they’re ultimately more meditative than whimsical, each projecting viewers into dollhouse discotheques. His Untitled is a more earnest and provocative work, referencing a Romanesque gallery with coffered ceiling and windows that seemingly overlook the sea, the whole setting a heavenly, hallowed milieu. In it are pedestals displaying Asian-looking artifacts—a Buddha statue, a teapot, and animal figures. The latter images are purplish projections, apparitions that subtly flicker. Gathered from open-source 3-D scans of artworks (among the first digital copies ever made), the computer-enhanced renderings progress through a slow, looped cycle from day to night. It’s an idealized, digital simulacrum—with pixelated edges showing. As installed in the cozy dimensions of Jancar Jones, which is not much bigger than a closet, the works are set within a near version of themselves—and it’s the kind of metagesture that seals the self-reflexive deal.

— Glen Helfand

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