Arts & Culture

Went There: King Solomon’s Mines

Video Art at the Rose Art Museum


Still, Tommy Hartung “King Solomon’s Mines”


You can take bus 70 to the (free) Rose Art Museum and see Tommy Hartung’s “King Solomon’s Mines.”

I like to see video art in a gallery. Played on cycle, you can come and go, sit or stand. And because you can leave anytime, time slows down a little and it’s a little bit of work to keep yourself still and watch. The video comes out into the room, it’s more of a place.

In this case it’s the Saharan desert, a flickering ancient futurist account with stop motion, altered live footage, and an even low-fi digital treatment. Layers of neon computer paintbrush transform faces into containers of fire, whipping tendrils and eyes that burn. A voice-over speaks of its descent into a cave, wary but steady, the fall of labor, tourism. There is a face made of cloud, mirror-like, a car commercial obscured with dust; a prophecy.

In the adjacent room are Polaroids and objects used in the film. There are face sculptures made of sand-like clay, and assemblage with found junk. Instead of pulling back the curtain they read as artifacts—transparently fictional evidence I believe.

Still, Tommy Hartung “King Solomon’s Mines”

Still, Tommy Hartung “King Solomon’s Mines”

While you are there, see the small room with Ana Mendieta’s body prints and video performance “Sweating Blood”. These records of her existence [d. ’85 by fall (push)] read more plainly than Hartung’s myth. The emptiness of her absence is present, underwhelming, sorrowful.

Shake it off with Fred Eversley’s vapid (not actually edible) hard candy sculptures. Take an art-selfie, salivate.

Looking through a Fred Eversley Sculpture, photo credit: Dina Shaposhnikova

Show runs until June 11th.

Artist talk – Tommy Hartung – 4/20 – 4pm
Artist talk – Fred Eversley – 4/26 – 5:30pm

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