“SPLEEN” Combined Works of 3 Local Artists
From Cecile Oreste at danceDC
Morgan Greenhouse continues with her work to promote local artists and make art accessible to the public. In April, Greenhouse was part of Team Work, which created a project for Cultural Development Corporation’s pop-up gala in the empty retail space of the Moderno building– just south of U Street on 12th St. NW.
Greenhouse’s latest effort utilized the space owned by investment firm LaKrtiz Adler to produce, “SPLEEN, a show featuring three D.C. area artists. Inspired by Charles Baudelaire’s poem by the same name, “SPLEEN” is the product of a month-long installation process combining the talents of ART CARGO (Jacqueline Levine), sculptor Oreen Cohen and ceramist Sarah Allison.
In “SPLEEN,” each artist visually represented her unique interpretation of the poem while taking into consideration how the elements would interact.
ART CARGO’s balloon work, Cohen’s metal and glass sculptures and Allison’s stalagmites of ceramic and insulation foam create an abundance of visual interest upon entering the basement. The various elements work well not only with each other, but also with the space itself.
The basement space of Moderno was a driving force behind the project acting almost like a fourth member of the team. Integrating with the space was key, added Cohen. “We took into account weight, form, space, color and lighting to bring out different elements of the piece,” she said.
In terms of audience reaction, Allison hoped viewers would walk around the installation and explore. She also wanted them to be scared and a bit timid.
It was difficult to not being terrified of stepping on shattered glass or bumping into ceramic pieces hanging from the ceiling, but there was also much more than that.
The installation is a metaphorical representation of the reciprocal relationship between industry and nature, said Cohen. It is a catalyst for viewers to reflect on the environment and think about how their every day actions affect the world. For ART CARGO, it also represents the effects industry has on the human body, creating an emotive almost visceral reaction.
Although the exhibition has since been removed from the basement space of Moderno, you can still experience the installation process by watching the videos. The video of the gallery opening on Sept. 30 will also be posted on the project blog soon.