and More, It Takes More Than A Bunch Of Stuff To Make An Installation
by Barbara Fontana Yontz
In Review, September 19, 2000
Last week, I made reference to the Fugitive
Art Center's current exhibition, "Okno" by Jim Haynes,
which will be at the Center from Sept. 9 to Oct. 10, and it
is definitely not one to be missed. The installation is composed
of life-sized silhouettes of human forms rendered from rusted
letter-press number blocks, photographs of radio towers and
open landscapes (also with rusted numbers), and a network
of speakers dispersed throughout the space connected by thick
black wires. Together, these elements present a clean, elegant
visual gestalt heightened by the "sound collage" recording.
The sound loop provides a continuous, well composed yet eerie
auditory element creating a more total sensory experience.
As you move through the exhibition, viewing each piece individually,
the parts begin to tell a story. The seven figures are imprinted
with rusted numbers on heavy water-color paper that has been
torn and re-stitched with dental floss. The result produces
the feeling of a frail and diffused form recalling the death
shrouds of antiquity, but in our time, infiltrated by numbers.
The numbers, which show up also on the photographs, are said
by Haynes to represent the encrypted messages that use numbers
and emanate from anonymous shortwave radio transmissions.
They seem to represent a more universal symbolic representation
of radio waves in general. It is as though Haynes is giving
symbolic form to invisible radio waves that move through the
air and also move past the skin to infiltrate the interior
of our being in some kind of way.
The sound loop is a textured composition of mechanized voices
reciting numbers, creaking drones of the sound of rust, and
some other, unidentifiable sounds. As a whole, the installation
is intellectually compelling and visually beautiful, and each
time I experience it I find new meanings.