Art and Artists

Film by Eric Minh Swenson. Music by The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.

(Not Quite) Salvation explores the various ways redemption and meaning are sought in society. What we worship indicates how we hope to be saved from our suffering. What we yearn for are outward symbols of our inward search.As you turn and enter the gallery you are instantly surrounded and dwarfed by a tunnel of twelve-foot figures. Kneeling in rapt surrender, the figures’ hands reach up, creating an imaginary gothic arch above the viewer. Their physicality is raw andemotional, but they are surfaced with the emblems of their worship: one figure is completely tattooed, seeking transcendence using the urban poetry of his skin as a canvas; another figure is covered in dollar bills. All of the kneeling men are reaching, searching, seeking… and the things being sought are narcissistic, monetary, and of this world. On the floor in front of the window another one of these figures lays prostrate- the fallen god of war. Passing through this ante-chamber of figures, you approach a small room framed with the same upward gothic-shaped wall. On either side of this arch are two smaller male figures with arms outstretched as if flying or crucified, falling head firstout of the sky. Inside the small room is a sculpture titled “Always Wanting/ Never Enough.” A larger than life man and woman, in the throes of emotional distress, obviously together but suffering individually, without each the other’s comfort. They are vibrant and muscular, the physicality of their bodies aching with passion and intensity. Completely covered with Louis Vuitton and Gucci logos, this couple is a powerful symbol of emotional entanglement, as well as the literal embodiment of consumerism and superficial pleasure/desire. This inner sanctum provides the sacristy of the installation, the holy place where our inner and outer contradictions are given front and center stage.

825 Gallery825 La Cienega Blvd.Los Angeles, CASept 6- Oct 3, 2014
Opening night Sept t6

For more info on Eric Minh Swenson or project inquiries visit his website: thuvanarts.com. You can also visit the art film series page at thuvanarts.com/take1.

j vimeo.com/94246244

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