ArtId Art Blog
One of my favorite pieces is ___Sunlight In An Empty Room, (Passing Cloud For Emily Dickinson, Amherst, MA August 2004)___ For this piece Finch traveled to the home of the famous poet Emily Dickinson, in Amherst, MA. While there he recorded the light in the poet__™s yard. It was afternoon and clouds occasionally passed, breaking into the sunny day. Finch took multiple readings of the clouds overhead and marked the change in light due to the clouds. To recreate the experience of the day, Finch replicates the actual light, color and shadow created by the sun and clouds that day. To do this, he affixes two rows of sixty florescent tubes to the wall __" a formula which exactly creates the same measurement of light he noted that day. Then, he creates the effect of the cloud. Not, the cloud itself, but the ___effect___ of the cloud. To do this, he assembles a mass of translucent blue, gray, and violet filters held together by clothes pins and hangs it from the ceiling so that it floats in front of the florescent lights at a distance of about eight feet.
!IMAGE161!The observer is meant to walk around the artificial cloud to experience the exact change in light and temperature that occurred on that day at the Emily Dickinson Homestead. I walked it slowly, paying little attention to the ___cloud___, concentrating instead on the overall effect. It was fascinating. I felt as though I were outside and a cloud was truly passing overhead " a low cloud perhaps that blocked the sun so much it reminded me of one of those days at the beach when the sun is out and it™s a great day to be outside, but when the clouds pass by, it gets dark and cold immediately and a feeling of disappointment arises until the cloud passes and it__™s sunny again. I really felt I knew exactly what it was like to be there with Spencer Finch on that day in August 2004. Sharing the same perceptual moment with him brought me closer emotionally to the artist, to the physical and emotional effects of nature, and wonderfully, to Emily Dickinson, an artist whom I imagined experienced similar days as she wrote her poetry in that yard.
The show exhibited many other like pieces such as ___Two Hours, Two Minutes, Two Seconds. (Wind At Walden Pond, March 12, 2007)___ in which Finch creates a large horseshoe shape of forty stacked fans to exactly recreate the changing breeze which occurred on the aforementioned date at Walden Pond. The observer stands inside the horseshoe and feels the winds.
I also thought some of the ___smaller___ pieces were extremely powerful. I was particularly taken with ___Poke In The Eye___, a painting describing the aftermath of that particular injury __" bleary and beautiful.
Other highlights from this show are: ___102 Colors From My Dreams___, ___Trying To Remember The Color of Jackie Kennedy__™s Pillbox Hat___, ___Butterfly___, and the very funny, ___Blue (One Second Brainwave Transmitted To The Star Rigel)___.
Here__™s a tip: If you go to see this show, you must, I mean must, pick up and read the booklet that accompanies the show. Without it, you will wander aimlessly not knowing why the art is the way it is. I was so saddened to see dozens of people staring at the blue cloud not knowing what to think of it. Not one person actually walked around the cloud as the booklet instructed " many had the booklet, but didn™t look at it. I was lucky to overhear a woman reading from hers when I arrived, so I immediately went to get one.
For more information about Spencer Finch__™s ___What Time Is It On The Sun___, and the MASS MoCa museum, please visit ___www.massmoca.org___:http://www.massmoca.org/event_details.php?id=28.