Best Museum Exhibition

Remote Viewing (Invented Worlds in Recent Painting and Drawing)

We're living in a windows-within-windows world. Our TV screens display two channels simultaneously, with both channels running graphics crawlers across bottom and top; our computers run simulated game worlds in one window and a live news feed in another; our cars have DVD players for front- and back-seat viewers; and all around us, the same old world spins by. This phenomenon of having images from across the world transmitted to our consciousness, no matter where we are, is so common as to be ignored. The eight contemporary artists who were part of Remote Viewing (Invented Worlds in Recent Painting and Drawing), however, made these glimpses of other worlds and other realities impossible to ignore. The information overload, the images-overlaying-images experience that we selectively blot out in order to function, serves as their inspiration. German-born artist Ati Maier's colorful panoramas, studded with familiar sci-fi images (the ghosts from Pac-Man, silhouettes of starships), possessed a bright-eyed optimism that hearkened back to the utopian futurists of the '50s, when our hyper-informational world was a happy prophecy. Julie Mehretu's massive, cartographic drawings, created on layers of semi-translucent paper, hinted at the overflow of news crawls but upon closer examination actually provided more information and insight into the world. Remote Viewing offered eight distinct viewpoints on that world that exists around the flat screens and picture tubes; each view was refracted through the lens of a different mind, and the result was a show that offered the same epiphany as the shadows on the cave wall: We're all more real and wonderful than we think we could ever be.
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