If you’re the type of person that enjoys artists that defy categorization, look no further than the Ringling Museum of Art’s survey of New York based artist, R. Luke DuBois – Now. Not only is this the first survey of DuBois’s work, it’s also the first solo Ringling Museum exhibition for an artist who works with such a diverse range of media.
Now is the type of exhibition that needs plenty of time to be viewed and absorbed — if you prefer a thorough grasp of what’s on display, I suggest visiting the show more than once. While some of the pieces are easily consumable, others feel as though they transcend time and space – within the viewing experience, time becomes dimensional. This, to me, makes a lot of sense being that much of the work DuBois creates is about the perception of time: but that’s only the half of it. DuBois is also interested in American popular culture, musical composition, collaborative performance, large-scale public installation, films, generative computer works, and, well there’s plenty to discover about this multi talented fellow.
One of my personal favorite’s from this survey is a new video series DuBois created during a year-long residency at Ringling Museum entitled Circus Sarasota. In this body of work, DuBois highlights aspects of Ringling’s history related to the art of performance and spectacle – being what Ringling is undoubtedly the most famous for; the circus. Accentuated by grandiosely ornamental frames are several monitors, activated by motion sensors that display videos of current performers from Circus Sarasota – each duration of the high-definition video representing characteristics of the performer, primarily captured in slow motion. Sometimes the performer peers directly into the viewer’s eye from the monitor, creating an eerie sense of the uncanny. Personally, I love how R. Luke was successfully able to take this subject matter and create something utterly mesmerizing — where another element of time is introduced, through motion sensors, depending on the viewers’ movement and placement within the space. Now is also comprised of video, digitally generated sound pieces, Oscar-winning films throughout the years, maps of the lonely looking for love, Playboy pin-ups, Google, and Britney Spears – this show simply does not disappoint.
Also, included with Now are three collaborative performances by R. Luke DuBois and guest artists. I attended the first collaborative performance, with Lesley Flanigan as the guest artist. In this performance, Lesley created sound with varied utterances into a microphone while DuBois responded by projecting computer generated images on the adjacent wall and, simultaneously, digitally manipulating Lesley’s voice. This performance lasted about an hour and generated waves of energy, as sounds reverberated around the gallery walls. The next collaborative performances are March 20th with Todd Reynolds, and May 1st with Bora Yoon.
R. Luke DuBoise – Now runs through May 4th, 2014. You can find more information about Now and R. Luke DuBoise’s upcoming collaborative performances HERE.