Krysten Cunningham

This event has now finished. Until May 1 2010

Axle, 2009, by Krysten Cunningham Axle, 2009, by Krysten Cunningham - The artist and Ritter/Zamet

Time Out says  

Posted: Thu Apr 8 2010

Attempting to visualise four dimensions is a bit like trying to eat beer: it is impracticable for those of us entrenched in the usual way of doing things. Perhaps this is what makes it such a chestnut for the artist who wishes to capsize or re-chart our assumptions.

Krysten Cunningham's video '3 to 4' is not so directly didactic though. Her choreography of non-professional dancers wearing bold red, green and blue outfits in the Californian desert is indeed an evocation of the fourth dimension. But the performers, as they animate coloured poles in undulating formation or pass around a sculptural rendition of the x, y and z-axes in a serious, deliberate manner, intone ritual rather than enlightenment. The origins and logic of rituals are generally buried in the silt of time, so that they represent a whole other set of assumptions. This requires that we don't so much read the particular significance of '3 to 4', as intuit something momentous but unknowable.

The video is a continuation of the artist's research into the hypercube - a four-dimensional analogue of a regular cube - and our inability to perceive its structure without extreme mental gymnastics. Rather than the philosophy of mathematics, though, it seems to have more in common with aesthetic regimes of the technologised body, such as Vsevolod Meyerhold's biomechanics or even Alphonse Bertillon's anthropometrics, which was so sinisterly reinterpreted by eugenicists. Cunningham's textbook rupturing of the naturalistic tones of nature with the three-colour separation of technology enforce this association and likewise, in the gallery, her shelf-based geometric sculptures of machined metal and hand-woven yarn give off more than a whiff of cultish symbolism.

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