By Angela Romeo
Desert X has arrived and with it a renewed interest in what is “Art.” Art is always open to interpretation and a visceral reaction is expected. The next question is does the work evoke something more? Does it evoke more than a selfie? Does it evoke a dialogue?
Observing the installation Wormhole, one witnesses all of the above and more. The installation is part of a series of 6 similar installations. The work is located in Palm Springs, Cathedral City, Indian Wells, Indio, Coachella and Tijuana. The installation is relatively simple. A vacant store front, a lone TV and sign directing the viewer that “We have moved to…” with an address directing the viewer to a new location.
The artist behind the work is Cinthia Marecelle from Brazil. Her primary media are video and photography which she uses to create installations, performances, and videos. Marcelle has had solo exhibitions in South America and Europe. Marcelle has had recent solo shows at Modern Art Oxford (2017) and Logan Center Exhibitions, Chicago (2017). Her work has been in significant group exhibitions including Video Art in Latin America: Selections from Brazil at The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles Marcelle has also participated in many biennales including participating in the 10th Berlin Biennale (2018). Marcelle’s work is inspired by the chaos and turmoil of possibilities found in everyday life. To achieve this, she creates a distance from the perceived chaos and arranges the chaos into simplistic order.
So, what is the Wormhole? It is described as a short cut through space and time, creating a kind of physical, temporal and subjective crossing between spaces. It is an attempt to connect empty spaces tied by economic desertion.
The reaction to the installation has been mixed. The common reaction has involved a quizzical look – often followed by “Is this the whole thing?” Others are confused by the note on the door – not always realizing that the sign is the location of the next in the series. Few immediately grasp the concept of a wormhole and are happy to fall into it.
As I watched the visitors to the site I began to be captivated by the audience as part of the installation. It made me wonder if fact, Wormhole, was truly improvisational theater, the audience melds in to the work and by doing so gives the work a deeper dimension. Some left without truly looking at the piece. Others moved back and forth between the placard and the window. The usual selfie brigade was out. I wondered was the selfie to capture the moment of the piece or as evidence of saying “I was there?” Was there dialogue? Yes – and that made my experience very meaningful.
Whatever the intent or reaction, Wormhole has shown that Desert X is reaching for the more than the painting over the sofa.
Wormhole can be found at 152 E. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs: 68895 Perez Road #15, Cathedral City; 74-913 Highway 111 Suite 913, Indian Wells;45-088 Oasis Street, Indio; 1667 Sixth Street, Coachella; and Calzzapato, Constitucion 720, Col. Zona Centro, Tijuana.
For more information on Desert X visit desertx.org.