On view through March 10, Salon 94 Bowery presents Jon Kessler’s The Blue Period. This immersive installation features kinetic machines, surveillance cameras, video monitors and life-size cardboard figures. The exhibition combines Kessler’s longtime interest in surveillance, alienation and spectacle.
The Blue Period offers a critique of consumer culture and the passivity and isolation it causes. Kessler has constructed a controlled environment in which social relations are mediated through images of a fabricated, inaccessible reality. Cameras capture real and fake spectators in a maze of monitors against blue splattered walls creating a fleeting sense of community and interconnection.
At the center of the installation is a gallery within a gallery, surveyed with a miniature camera. Large portraits hang on the walls, serving as a metaphor for captivity. A bank of box monitors imprisons familiar actors in blue-face along with sequences from the Blue Man Group. Like the viewer, these characters become part of the work, and the act of looking and being seen becomes the subject.
In the upstairs gallery are four small-scale sculptures, each featuring a different human organ and its prosthesis: Hands (2012), Ear (2012), Foot (2012), and Eye (2012).
Jon Kessler lives and works in New York City. He received a BFA from SUNY Purchase and attended the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program. He had numerous solo exhibitions worldwide, and is currently working on a large-scale multi-media commission for the Métamatic Research Institute in the Netherlands.
Since 1994, Kessler has been an influential studio art professor at Columbia University’s School of Visual Arts, and plays guitar with the X-Patsys, a band he formed with actress Barbara Sukowa and artist Robert Longo.
Salon 94 Bowery is located at 243 Bowery, New York, NY. For more information, call 212.979.0001 or visit their website.
Emmaline Niendorf is an Integrated Marketing Associate with Otherwise Incorporated.
February 22, 2012 | Filed under Art Seen: National, Expo Chicago and tagged with Columbia University’s School of Visual Arts, EXPO CHICAGO, Jon Kessler, Jon Kessler The Blue Period, Métamatic Research Institute, Salon 94, Salon 94 Bowery, SUNY Purchase, The Blue Period, Whitney Museum Independent Study Program.
Tags: Columbia University’s School of Visual Arts, EXPO CHICAGO, Jon Kessler, Jon Kessler The Blue Period, Métamatic Research Institute, Salon 94, Salon 94 Bowery, SUNY Purchase, The Blue Period, Whitney Museum Independent Study Program