Were The Eye Not Sunlike: Reflections on(to) Space and Time

Inspired by Chicago’s winters, Were The Eye Not Sunlike is a two part exhibition curated by Third Object. One part is an exhibition at Fernwey Gallery, and the other is a broadcast of three consecutive series on ACRE TV, video compilations meant to communicate the transitory experiences of different times of day: Sunrise (April 1st – April 19th), High Noon (April 19th – May 10th), and Sunset (May 10th – May 31st).  About one month ago we set our clocks back an hour, and we have been experiencing longer days ever since! 

IMG_3878Alas, more daylight does not mean more time. I missed the April 3rd Fernwey opening and decided to visit on an overcast Monday afternoon. I knew the gallery would be closed, but I also knew that it has an entirely glass facade. I thought it would be an interesting exercise in illumination.. Before my visit, I consulted my own personal light source/affective entity (my macbook). I watched a bit of ACRETV’s video stream and I read the exhibition’s accompanying publications; both of which seemed to support my selfish inclination to review an exhibition that was technically off duty. What I saw of the video stream was an empowering segment on dancers in their eighties who embodied a “why not” attitude, while Third Object’s text on the concurrent exhibitions begins with, “…the Sun is the obvious role model for the aspiring tyrant,” which is as true as it is comical.


Looking through my reflection into the darkened gallery, I can see only three quarters of the works described in Third Object’s text, including the powered down electronics: a slide projector and two TVs with black screens. I found myself considering the essay Danny Floyd wrote for the show, in which he describes how emptiness creates the potential for one’s own creation. Alternating between getting up close to the window, cupping my hands around my eyes to get a clearer look inside, and gazing at an amalgamation of the forms in the gallery with the reflections of the outside world; I focused deliberately on exploring all I could see. I optically permeated the gallery space as I stood on Division Street amongst the joggers and the people pushing strollers. Although unfair to the artists whose work I did not experience; the curatorial current of Were The Eye Not Sunlike penetrated the panes of glass, bathing my narcissism in awareness and appreciation.



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