Today being Columbus Day, downtown Bridgeport was practically shut down. Practically nothing was moving. Then I wandered into the City Lights Gallery, where the Kinetic Art show was being installed. Everything was in motion.
As I walked in, Brooklyn artist Daniel Wurtzel was experimenting with some household-type fans in a circle on the floor. They were aimed at what looked like gigantic beach balls and he was trying to keep them suspended. The orbs wouldn’t obey and kept drifting outside the space. Then Suzanne Kachmar, the gallery director, brought in bags of packing foam. The dread inside me started to rise.
“View art that whirls, rolls and spins; on the walls , on the floor, in the air,” promises gallery director Suzanne Kachmar in the publicity for the show. But I couldn’t imagine packing foam doing anything but creating havoc. Would I be spending the rest of the day picking foam pieces out of my hair?
I turned my back to the whole thing as Suzanne showed me some pieces already installed. Dan Makara, Richard Griggs, Helen Zajkowski all had works in place. Curator Suzan Shutan did a marvelous job. I know they spent months trying to find those rare artists capable of creating objects of beauty that also incorporate small feats of engineering.
Then I turned around and in the corner of a far wall, like a sorcerer in “Fantasia,” Wurtzel made the foam pieces dance in the air at his command. The small blizzard was contained to his corner of the room. It was a stunning and beautiful sight to behold. Later, I saw other examples from his website that convinced me he’s in familiar territory. He knows exactly how to combine fans and common objects dance and swirl with either seductive moves or sheer fury.
City Lights is up against a tough deadline, so they’d better keep moving. Kinetic Art opens Wednesday, Oct. 13 . runs until Tuesday, Nov. 16. This exhibit is sponsored by the Aquarion Water Co.