Currently on view at the Seattle’s Henry Art Gallery, is a career retrospective of multimedia and performance artist titled “Gary Hill: glossodelic attractors.” The exhibit includes over a dozen works that investigate how visual and verbal communications are experienced at the phenomenological level, and how that experience creates meaning.
Renowned as a pioneer in video, sound art, performance, and installation, Hill is known for his highly experiential works that defy convention and expand consciousness. This exhibition offers a broad sampling of the artists work produced over the last four decades including installations, video, work, and a sound maze as well as the premiere of new work “Cutting Corners Creates More Sides” (2011-2012).
An important theme is Hills work is his incorporation of text in video art. The writing of Maurice Blanchot and philosopher Emmanual Lévinas inform Hill’s visual-poetic explorations of the relationship between language, image, identity, and body. Hill’s videos offer complex nonlinear narratives that encourage active engagement on the part of the viewer.
One of the larger works included in show the installation “The Psychedelic Gedankenexperiment” in which a gray-haired professor in a lab coat, played by Hill, gives a lecture on a pair of video screens. As Hill speaks, his works become garbled and a transcript of his talk reveals that he is extolling LSD as “the most powerful and in time the most influential work of art throughout all of history.”
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