David Haskins: Polarity, installation at Elmhurst Art Museum (photo courtesy of Elmhurst Art Museum).
Clef Notes Chicagoland Journal for the Arts
This fall, Elmhurst Art Museum will present David Wallace Haskins: Polarity, a major new solo exhibition by the Chicago-based multi-media. The exhibition, Haskins’ most ambitious yet, will premiere multiple new projects including an interactive video work and large-scale light installation as separate project spaces within the museum’s galleries.
Visitors will be invited to explore a trio of works that create tension from opposing forces, whether elemental or experiential, in the main galleries. The video Where We Meet shows a series of people from all ages walking from a single point on the horizon towards the viewer, arriving life-sized on the museum wall before turning and disappearing into the distance again, highlighting one’s absence and presence in the world. Time Mirror III continues the interactive video work Haskins first introduced at the museum in 2016 and allows viewers to experience multiple past versions of themselves interacting in real-time throughout the gallery space. The large-scale Architecture of Light is an immersive installation that combines the immaterial elements of fire (light) with the material elements of water (haze) to recreate atmospheric conditions similar to the sky’s sun and clouds. Using high powered projectors Haskins creates dynamic architectural and sculptural compositions of light throughout the space. As visitors explore the light installation, their physical presence dramatically transforms the surrounding environment with each small action.
Haskins will also premiere a site-specific installation in the museum’s McCormick House designed by Mies van der Rohe, which is the second of a series of transformative architectural interventions. Entitled Ascension / Descension, the mirrored installation will put the one-story glass house designed by the famed architect in conversation with the tall skyscrapers that made him a modern icon. This series, which debuted with an intervention by Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle, celebrates the historic structure by Mies, especially as the recent restorations allow audiences to discover and reconsider its unique story.
Haskins has said he believes small shifts in our perception can create meaningful consequences in everyday lives. His insightful projects each continue traditions of the Light and Space movement through highly considered and polished works that isolate viewers’ experiences with phenomena of light, space, time, and sound. Each conceptually-driven piece invites visitors to reorient themselves to the world around them.
Two off-site extensions of David Wallace Haskins: Polarity will be presented in September: the premiere of Time Mirror II at 150 Media Stream (150 North Riverside Plaza, Chicago, September 3-30, 2018) in which Haskins continues his work with perception and time by transforming an immersive media wall into a 150-foot digital mirror; and a new ground-breaking virtual reality work entitled Time Spheres, which allows visitors to experience three distinct dimensions of time, each experienced in spherical 360º and in 3D, presented at EXPO Chicago, the international exposition of contemporary & modern art, at Navy Pier (600 E. Grand Avenue, Chicago) September 27-30, 2018.
Elmhurst Art Museum has supported Haskins’ artistic career with multiple projects, including Skycube (2015) which recently reopened at the Museum. The architectural intervention Ascension / Descension was generously sponsored by Linda Usher, Malcolm Lambe, Kristin Lambe, and Lauren Lambe.
To learn more about the exhibition or for tickets, visit elmhurstartmuseum.org.