Archive: Issue No. 31, March 2000

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The Dia Center for the Arts in the Chelsea area of Manhattan is renowned for the sponsorship of contemporary art projects both in its four floors of spaces, and also on the web. The latest, the twelfth in Dia's web projects and launched on February 16, is Gary Simmons 'Wake'.

For 'Wake', his first project for the web, Gary Simmons has photographed empty ballrooms and other dance spaces redolent of an earlier era. As the viewer moves the mouse over the screen, image fragments appear then quickly fade, making it impossible to view any of his nine haunting scenes in its entirety and at one time. Mediated by a soundtrack comprised of the humming of old but well-known songs that are still popular favorites, these sites seem generated as much by involuntary memory as by technical intervention. As with Simmons' earlier work, including his chalk drawings and more recently his photographs of pedagogical spaces, absence and the ephemeral are as palpably charged as what is present and lasting.




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