by Candice Weber
Light (or the lack of it) brought together the pieces in Floor Length and Tux’s third FLAT show, in which the gallery’s proprietors, artists Catie Olson and EC Brown, cooperate with two or three other artists to create an evening of new work. The loop of simple animated actions or grainy video projections also wove its way throughout the night. The set-up of the show, negotiated around the comfortable domestic space of a Ukrainian Village apartment, and the exquisite manipulation of light and shadow by many of the pieces created an atmosphere that was part cabinet-of-curiosities and part fun house. The psychedelic mood was further boosted by the retro special effects going on in the bedroom and kitchen, and EC Brown’s limited edition CD mix and accompanying booklet stuffed full of 1960s afro-brasileira, Bunker Hill and Demon Fuzz tunes, and a couple sad looking Playboy bunnies.
I overheard a mention that Alexander Stewart’s whirling cube animation was a sketch for a larger project and it only made me wish to see what bigger picture he had in mind – though the simple spins of the cubes and his mirrored box (that reflected back my upside-down head peaking over its edge) held up well alongside comic artist and illustrator Lilli Carre’s own animations. These, however, were literally overshadowed by her own shadow puppets. A gently swinging flashlight cast flickering images of a dismembered body, houses on fire, a towering skeleton, all interwoven with vegetal growth in spite of the carnage. It gave off a primal sense of lurking dangers and huddling around campfires. The two pieces in the darkened kitchen and bedroom jolted me from the bronze age to a campy future as imagined by British television producers. Blue crystals pulsed and hummed in Catie Olson’s “Pulverizer” – though her “Hemocubule,” bristling with light, precarious wooden boxes, and miniature video projections, was much more captivating. EC Brown rigged a disorienting light show in the pitch-dark bedroom, replacing the large window with tiny blinking lights accompanied by subliminal, tinkering music. Digital “beep boop” sounds combined with a panel of flickering lights will never cease to transport one instantly back to the 1970s, when everyone thought we’d be flying in cars and eating our meals in pill form by the year 2000.