Dedicated to covering the visual arts community in Connecticut.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

We all have our dreams

Real Art Ways
56 Arbor St., Hartford, (860) 232-1006
Through Dec. 16, 2007

In the Real Room at Real Art Ways, there is a show that is a fine complement to Shadow Show, the exhibition in the contemporary art venue's main space. Kambui Olujimi's World Famous Dr. Keller's THE LOST RIVERS DREAM INDEX mines the overlapping image world of dreams and the Internet. Both realms are also shadow realms, outside of the corporeal but real nonetheless.

Olujimi painted the walls of the Real Room black, the color of night, the better to festoon with dreams. Using imagery culled first from the Internet—but corresponding to dreams he has had, according to RAW Visual Arts Coordinator Phoebe Augustine—and secondarily from his self-published pamphlet/book The Lost River's Dreamers Index, Olujimi painted the black walls in Pantone Copper Gold. He projected the images on the walls using three projectors and essentially traced them with the sparkly paint.

It is an exotic menageries of fears, fetishes, fixations and fables. Godzilla. Michael Jackson (looking a little bit like Marilyn Monroe, oddly enough or maybe not). A child skipping rope. Another child licking a giant ice cream cone—can you say "phallic symbol?"—that culminates in an igloo at the top. Portuguese men-of-war jellyfish trailing their threatening stingers. An enormous boombox with a troll in front of it holding a check for a zillion dollars (another Powerball winner making an end run around the class system). A roaring lion mounting a tiger, creating a "liger." The Folies Bergere can-can girls. A Japanese World War II kamikaze plane, an old VW Beetle, a man exposing his large animal-like phallus before an array of microphones and much more.

In the copper gold paint on the black background, Olujimi's painted installation reads like a guide to the constellations. The new universe of pop culture has overthrown the old stars of the firmament. The dog star Sirius has been brought to heel. The satellite radio usurper Sirius now drowns out the past, ringing the chords of change out of the speakers of Olujimi's painted boombox.


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