Double Blocks

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The pinnacle of [Red Left Blue Right] appears in the form of a joke, by the show's curator, Phillip Edward Niemeyer. Double Blocks are (roughly) two-inch by two-inch woodblocks with the images of 3-D blocks appearing on the sides in red and blue. It's so meta, right? But Niemeyer's pieces also speak to the concept of 3-D itself. They hold the representation of depth equal to actual depth, or, in other terms, utter distraction equal to useful obstruction. Moreover, the woodblocks themselves are difficult to see through the violently clashing colors.

We might look at Double Blocks as a statement on how we view visual art: Are we fascinated with the object or the ideas the object contains? If the immersion is sensory alone, I'm probably not that interested. Sure, emotion and intellect are accessed and inspired by the senses, but it's the degree to which the senses serve or distort meaning that makes them valuable, and likewise the degree to which the art object affects the senses.

Niemeyer's contribution contains one more twist. The blocks on the blocks aren't 3-D as far as the 3-D glasses are concerned. Rather than imitate a block one could stack another illusionary block on top of, the glasses create a flashing electric violet field that's impossible to hold onto with the eyes.

The vision makes me feel disoriented and a little afraid, like looking through a porthole into an as-yet undefined dimension.

– Matthew Irwin, The Austin Chronicle

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