BROADTHINKING: Unnatural Acts and Other Illicit Thoughts about Nature

at Broadway Gallery

reviewed by Susan L. Yung

An art exhibit curated by Chris Twomey at Broadway Gallery in Soho is a compilation of installations of eleven individual artists metamorphing natural or waste products into creating (infusing) another form of existence or new life in the materials As artists, they are able to manipulate, control, recycle materials and mediums into other products that will motivate the viewer’s conscience to their own wasteful environments that we inhabit. For example, this gallery is one of the last bastions for art and artists in the neighborhood that in turn had gentrified the area from empty warehouses and presently is transformed into a shopper's/consumer’s haven going to the department brand stores and boutiques.

Each artist had tackled the problem in his or her own way. Miwa Koizumi’s “Pet Project” had successfully made floating jellyfishes from water bottles, dancing transparently with its shadows; Joel Simpson’s “Photonic Structural Movement” video depict 2 dancers undulating with a fabric screen while black and white photos of natural pattern and forms objects i.e. rocks, water pipes, liquids, architectural details, wood, and ice are projected on this moving screen; Peggy Ciphers’ “Channeling” had laid out many drug paraphernalia (pills, tea bags, joints, colored liquorices, cigs, tobacco, coke lines, etc) on the floor in a yen-yang wave but using a rectangle instead of a circle shape where a chair is placed as well as a music stand with classical music sheets that focus on a highly abstract textured painting hanging on the wall, suggesting the co-dependencies for the final painted product; Chris Twomey’s “Tsunami 3000” uses crumpled tin foil with images of man copulating with various animals and a video loop of a coyote man with dolphin referencing to scientists who do DNA research to redefine a better improved generation for the year 3000; Gulsen Calik’s “Dystopia” is a metallic rusty Tonka truck (unavailable) covered in grey green “fungus” growths where everyone says to be lint contrary to her nude painting “ Everyone’s Muse” that has a triangular-shape moss growth in the woman’s pubic area and “Mesopotamia”, a shelf of encased cultural growths that are metastasized in encased objects ie toy horse, illustrating “Dystrophy”; Alyssa Fanning’s “Flux: Printed and Drawn Matter” meticulous detailed linoleum prints with graphite pencil and Bristol paper of New Jersey’s Van Buskirk Island, an outdated water purification plant are torn, re-collaged, glued and curled, suggesting deconstruction and reconstruction waste; Kim Holleman’s “Model of Future Utopian Garden, Blue & Tan” creates 2 encased, miniature paradise islands elevated in a sea of liquid waste and a miniature architectural flocking covered “Green House” furnished with glass shards, computer fan and light fixture; Pale Infinity and Flash Light (see www.pale are in cyberspace on the internet as Second Life via Multi-User-Simulated-Environment (MUSE) developing their own fantasy homes and environment; Liz N Val is a couple whose tongue-in-cheek art  “World on the Tip of my Finger” and “How to Rape” demonstrate their illicit/unnatural juxtapositions; Elizabeth Riley’s “Luncheon on the Grass” cloudlike overhanging of conduit pipes encasing plastic pink drop cloths with projected green light set’s the gallery’s mood of “detritus” as well as Kathleen Vance’s “Infused” of a branch sprouting wires and attached to electrical fixtures, also, suspended from the ceiling emulates a "Frankenstein-ish” effect from inanimate to animate life.

Overall, in this show, the women outnumber the men where they culminate in making social commentaries of their urban unnatural environments in a patriarchic society keeping intact their broad thinkings that encompasses everything. Thus, I find women as nurturers, natural creators and protectors, miniaturising everything and attempting to neutralize in order to forestall destructive elements.