The Sights & Sounds of Time Itself
By Christoper Johnson
If time had a look and a sound, what would it be? Molly Bradbury's video and sound installation "Klang" looks at this fanciful question with a determined eye. If we could view our lives without the dimension of time then what we would see might look something like a continuous tube of flesh stretching from the beginning of our lives until now, running completely black in those places that we've returned to over and over again in our lives (routes to work, couches, beds, dinner tables, a lover's lips). The sound of this would be an indistinguishable cacophony of the possible. If you're like me, then the sound of time would be quite beautiful and you'll have a great time checking out Bradbury's show.
"Klang" is a series of twenty-two films running for about 44 minutes. Bradbury composed these films in a relatively small space of time working them out between Nov. 12, 2012 and Feb. 27 of this year. Each film seems to bleed into the next; at times the films appear almost to be repeating themselves, but they never quite are. This, too, is like our lives. "Klang" is chiding but beautiful like a David Lynch film, projecting a magnetic awkwardness in the mind's eye of the viewer.
Multimedia is all the rage in today's art world. Bradbury’s show represents the good qualities these mediums offer us. Rooted in daily life, her theme appears esoteric but her message is not. Intimacy is voided in these works; sentimentality is denied presence. Something about these pieces will not be denied. When asked what her show was about, Bradbury told me, "It is a perceptual phenomenon representing a comfortable dissonance.” She said, "‘Klang’ is about the distortion of time through our consciousness.”
Bradbury has been at the sound and image game for 11 years and that dedication shows. So many artworks we see today are sloppily executed knock-offs in the style of 'art for art's sake.’ Bradbury discards that. These works are tight and well conceived with a Gerhard Richter-esque eye for the completion of an artwork. Molly Bradbury's show shares something else with Gerhard Richter as well—a palette. The deep tracing and retracing of images and sound leads to colors either heavy (dark reds, oranges and greens) or neural and anemic (powder blue, canary yellow, white and pink).
Comparisons aside, “Klang” will appeal to a wide audience. It is pleasing, easily accessible and pertinent. Older audiences may be stifled, however, by jarring noises and rapid images. Younger art goers will be right at home in Bradbury’s rapidly shifting environment. It’s like YouTube, if YouTube were to dream of us: mesmeric, kaleidoscopic, soft and brief in the breadth between transitions.
Molly Bradbury’s Klang
March 15 & 16, 4-9pm
1614 Paseo De Peralta, Santa Fe, NM 87501
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