Gallery Diet Puts Perception Up For Grabs With 'Astral Weeks'
It's the duty of art to challenge its audience, making them look askance at all their preconceptions, so why shouldn't that include the very means by which art itself is perceived to begin with? That's one of the questions Gallery Diet seems to be asking with their Astral Weeks show, the follow-up to their Gina Beavers-curated Leave It To Beavers. The inspiration for Astral Weeks comes from that singular moment in the early '60s when British artist/iconoclast Brion Gysin created the Dream Machine, a light-based sculpture whose flickering was said to stimulate the brain and inspire waking dreams, but only if one's eyes were closed at the time. Open them and Gysin's gadget was simply another art object to be viewed.
With this idea as the template, Astral Weeks — curated by New York-based artist Van Hanos — offers a series of visions by different artists that call into question the whole process through which we encounter art in the physical realm. That may sound like a tall order, but with works by Liz Deschenes, Brock Enright, Genesis P-Orridge, and the late Gysin himself, among others, it seems like Hanos has achieved his goal. Enter into the world of Astral Weeks with all your senses open, and leave your preconceptions at the door.