Sunday, February 25, 2007

A Big City Moment

One of my cherished memories of living in New York City is of the afternoon I stumbled upon Red Grooms' "Ruckus Manhattan." Viewers actually wandered around inside Groom's 10,000-square-foot sculpture, enveloped in his bright, furiously energetic, cartoony vision of the city. It was the sort of thing that could never ever possibly exist outside a major arts city.

Or so I thought. I was reminded of Grooms' piece last week when I visited "Nicking the Never" at Colorado College's Coburn Gallery. In this gallery-filling, seven-screen video installation, Brooklyn artist Marina Zurkow renders the Tibetan Buddhist Wheel of Life in animated comic form — and it's stunning. "Nicking the Never" uses a popular idiom to make a profound statement, and delivers this profundity with a light, occasionally humorous touch that very unlike most contemporary "message" art. Like "Ruckus Manhattan," it's an enveloping experience.

Many in the Colorado Springs arts community are quick to complain about our city's lack of culture compared with similar-sized cities. (Well, I am, anyway.) But there's a wealth of new curatorial talent in town — including Colorado College's Jessica Hunter Larsen, who brought us Zurkow — and they're already changing the situation. (Shameless plug: A Gazette story on the city's four new curators is scheduled for March 18.)

Learn more about "Nicking the Never" here. You can even watch Quicktime video excerpts, and though the effect less powerful than the gallery installation, the video's underlying structure comes through more clearly.

"Nicking the Never" will be on display until April 14. The Coburn Gallery is located in the Warner Center, on the corner of Cache la Poudre Street and Cascade Avenue; gallery hours are 12:30-7:30 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays; call 389-6797 for more information.

Edit: Here's the link to the Springs Culture Cast video presentation on "Nicking the Never."


Anonymous marina said...

high praise - thank you so much!

2:47 PM  
Anonymous Noel Black said...

Klayton Kendall has done a video blog about the Zurkow show in his new Springs Culture Cast. You can find both of his videos (which you can then embed on yr blog) at by going to the left side bar of the blog and clicking on the logo for it. Also, if you want to talk to him about it he can be reached at metacritical (at) yahoo (dot) com.

7:07 AM  

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