University of Pennsylvania.
What do we know to be true? That the earth rotates, time moves forward, gravity pulls, and mirrors reflect light. A swinging pendulum traces seismic patterning on a gallery floor, concentric circles that reveal the invisible forces of their making. A single-channel video pulsates kaleidoscopic rhythms against a wall, the multiple reflections of conjoined mirrors echoed by a synthetic soundtrack of needles dropping. But as we move closer, reality seems to shift, and the certainties of perception and experience start to fold. A series of photographs embed the by-products of revelry—glitter, shattered mirrors, glass, and pearls—in soiled wastelands of an uncertain ground, asking us to reconsider seemingly inalienable laws of physics and faith. Elsewhere, the artist’s body becomes a litmus test for the violence of social breakdown, a glittering reflection caught in a site of urban neglect.
Glitter and Folds, on view February 6 through March 31, 2013, in ICA’s Project Space, presents photography, video, and site-specific installation by four contemporary artists, in whose works glitter appears to reveal a folding of invisible phenomena into material reality. As much as these actions divine the physical forces that structure the tangible fabric of everyday experience, they also reveal breaks in an urban and social landscape increasingly marked by precariousness, fear, and a gamble for redemption in the face of collapse.