Holographic art currently showing at the Queens Clock Tower in Long Island City, NY, curated by Dr. Martina Mrongovius.
The exhibition Interference:Coexistence at the Holocenter in NYC
If you have ever wondered about holographic art, about what it might look like, about what the creative minds of holographic artists might produce, then you must go to see the show, “Interference:Coexistence”, at the Queens Clock Tower in Long Island City, NY, curated by Dr. Martina Mrongovius.
It’s been awhile since there has been a show in the NY metro area with a comprehensive array of fine art holograms. In the 70’s and 80’s we had the Museum of Holography, a very active place that featured the work of local and international holographic artists. With the closing of the Museum in the early 90’s we lost an important point of access to new work in this unique medium. Analogue Holography (as opposed to Digital Holography) is a very technical medium - one which requires vast amounts of patience and perseverance and knowledge of optics to achieve the desired results. But a small number of artists have been working in holography for a long time and have produced a wide range of art pushing it well beyond the object-based representational medium it may have been perceived as early on.
Last summer’s show at the New Museum (that featured holograms created by well established artists and curated by Jenny Moore) was a beautifully presented show of a specific body of work but, as The New Museum, we would hope that there are plans afoot to show the work of contemporary holographic artists who have built careers in this medium since the late 60’s. The works in the New Museum show were the very first, early works in holography (or only works in holography in some cases) by artists Louise Bourgeois, Chuck Close, Bruce Nauman, Eric Orr, Ed Ruscha, and James Turrell. Most of these works were produced as a result of “The C Project” (all of the above artists except Bruce Nauman participated in The C Project) which provided a process that I liken to working in a bronze foundry. They were brought to the project by another artist, Ron Mallory, and evolved working relationships with two holographic artists, Larry Lieberman and Matt Schreiber, in a facility in Florida (Larry in the earlier days and Matt later on). It was an arrangement that facilitated some very interesting work. Although none of the works shown at the New Museum were ground breaking they did show great potential and they are important works in the history of Holography. Of this exhibited group James Turrell has been pursuing the exploration of this medium quite extensively (some of these works were included in his current retrospective at the LA County Museum of Art).
Betsy Connors, LightRain II, 2010
Well, jump from that show at the New Museum to “Interference:Coexistence: ”, a show curated by Dr. Martina Mrongovius as Director of the Holocenter, a not-for-profit organization based in NYC. Located in the Clocktower at Queens Plaza, this expansive exhibition space is filled with historical gems of holographic art alongside some of the most cutting edge digital holographic images. It is an opportunity to survey the work of some of the early explorers of this medium and the many directions they have taken over the years as well as the new work of young up and coming holographic artists. In contrast to the work from “The C Project”, most of these artists produced this work by building their own holographic systems and interfering light under conditions of no vibration, either on their own or by participating in residency programs where they had access to the pulsed laser or conventional holographic systems. A few pieces were also made in commercial facilities or research labs.
The Holocenter was originally the brainchild of Dr. Ana Maria Nicholson and the late Dan Schweitzer, both holographic artists. Beginning in 1998 and originally funded by the now defunct Shearwater Foundation, the pulsed laser facility was the home of a residency program for artists to make holographic art. The Holocenter is now directed by Dr. Martina Mrongovius, and the pulsed lab is still offering residencies but they are now housed at the University of Ohio.
At this moment The Holocenter is shifting gears and this show marks an influx of new energy embodied by Martina Mrongovius. Martina is a part of a group of younger artists and their associated audience (Martina brings an affiliations with Flux Factorythat are just now being exposed to holographic art. In this show she has selected work from the past (including the works of several artists who have died in recent years) as well as the latest works of young artists coming into this medium and brand new, hot off the presses, pieces from artists like Paula Dawson (Australia). Paula has been on the cutting edge of this medium (from her beginning in holography in the early 70’s) and her recent holograms are being produced from digital content using a haptic device which enables her to draw freehand lines in 3D space with a computer stylus. The range of work in this show helps to give a perspective of this medium over time. The show is extensive, on two floors, and has works that use a variety of different holographic techniques. You will see holograms large and small, in full color, monochrome, rainbow and pseudocolor. Some are animated, others collaged, combined with sculpture, neon, even record players, and all illuminated by light in very specific ways. Without illumination at the correct angle and the right light source each of these images would not be revealed.
Mary Harman, Hand and Bucket, 1985
For those of you who are in the NY area, I strongly encourage you to see this show. For those of you who live elsewhere we are going to offer a unique online event. Join us Friday, September 27th, 3 - 4 pm EST for a tour that I will host as Martina and Sam Moree walk around the gallery, showing us the work via digital video. Other surprise guests will also be joining us on the 4 other live video feeds. We will be recording the event which will be posted later on my blog at www.artinthe5thdimension.com. Contact me at greenwoman555 at gmail.com for details regarding how to join us online.