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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Lamson exhibit opens at Artspace Thursday

50 Orange St, New Haven, (203) 772-2709
William Lamson: Time Is Like the East River
Nov. 12—Dec. 19, 2009
Public Opening: Thurs., Nov. 12, 6—8 p.m.

Press release

Artspace is pleased to present a solo exhibition of new work by Brooklyn artist William Lamson. Frequently engaging with elemental forces such as gravity, wind, and tides, Lamson uses the time-bound mediums of performance and video to explore the limitations of human control and the material nature of time. This show marks the first occasion that Artspace has turned over the entirety of the gallery space to an individual artist.

In his new video, Time is Like the East River, Lamson takes New York's East River as his subject matter, addressing the transitions that occur with the crossing of thresholds and boundaries. The video opens with Lamson and a friend paddling two small boats toward each other from opposite sides of a broad body of water. Upon meeting in the middle, the boats link together, revealing that each boat was in fact half of a seventeen-foot canoe. As the two paddle into the distance, the camera (located on the Manhattan Bridge) slowly zooms out, revealing a radiant Manhattan skyline. Shot at slack tide, the moments between the change in direction of tidal currents, the normally turbulent river appears as calm a lake. Only in this transitional state, when the river changes directions and time is seemingly arrested, is Lamson's passage possible. The artist's homemade props and artifacts from the performance will also be on view in the gallery.

In conjunction with this video, the exhibition features two new site-specific works including a 40-foot wall drawing that evokes a theoretical timeline. The drawing is made from fuses and firecrackers, materials that both signify singular moments and lengths of time. Lamson subverts the traditional timeline progression, creating the drawing by lighting the fuse from both ends. In the adjacent room, a similar record of an event remains in the form of a series of lines of video tape stretched tight between arrows shot into opposing walls. At the end of the room, a sculpture consisting of two bows mounted in opposite directions hint at the unseen performance behind the installation. Experimental in nature, these performative works address the measurement of time and make manifest the liminal space between opposing forces.

William Lamson lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. He has exhibited nationally and internationally; his work is in the collections of the Brooklyn Museum and the Dallas Museum of Art, among numerous private collections.

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