Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Dominque Paul at AC Institute

Revelation 3/
European Collection of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts

Last Friday I had the exquisite pleasure of getting a private tour of artist Dominique Paul's work now at the AC Institute. I am, as readers of this blog know, a fan.

Mixing experimental video, costume design and a deep knowledge of studio art, Paul's works can only be properly construed as postmodern: political, a compendium of all that has gone before and operating in many different media at once. Actually, the scope -- and the amount of time (sometimes years) -- of what she does is positively breathtaking. The AC Institute show opens with Revelation 3 (above), an astonishing work -- a photograph -- updating of an Old Master work, with Dominique Paul in a self-designed dress of plastic bottles (playing the holy Mother), wonderfully lit from underneath with soft blue internally. Lighting, and issues of the environment (recycling, the amount of inorganic plastic we produce) are big on Paul's radar, as, obviously, is the history of Art.


Another piece, Pandora, also is heavily influenced by environmentalism and Old Masters and what I like to call The Mystery of Light. Paul uses plastic bottles and eggs containers and Pandora is lit with three different types of white light which become orange blue and green when interacting with the piece.

Prometheus 2

The third piece comes from the Prometheus collection -- my favorite of hers. It involves endangered animals, stuffed, and illuminated by the artist in a self-designed dress of plastic bottles and egg crates.

Of Dominque Paul's work, her bio reads: "To counter the evanescence of the body relating to the screens she builds translucent structures surrounding the body that are lit from the inside. The body becomes visible in the dark and may have the power to shed light on its immediate surroundings. The structures are made from recycled clear plastic containers being transformed by light into what appears now to be a precious material. She participates in a 're-enchantment' of the world." And re-enchant she does.

Domique Paul's work will be on display at 547 W. 27th St. #610 and the AC (Exit) Project Space New York until Sunday, April 29th. If you are in the area Thursday or Friday doing the Chelsea art crawl, I highly recommend you stop by.

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