Monday, August 16, 2010

Exhibiting Artist :Kimberly McKinnis

Set, shot and edited in the Do-It-Yourself style of home videos, Untitled: The Shape of an Emotion II documents the process of grinding, by hand, a whole glass beer bottle into the very small pieces.

The most "visible" component of this work is, curiously, its audio track. The incessant grinding of glass against harsh concrete speaks of endurance in the same way that someone grinds their teeth in pain. Just as the sound of grinding teeth fills the head of a person, causing it to throb, the prolonged determination of the artist's action fills the screen with its non-human scream. The pitch of the grinding sound shifts higher and higher as the bottle disintegrates into smaller and smaller piece, and begs the question: when will she be done?

Even though the viewer is aware of the outcome, and the video shows no surprise otherwise, watching the video requires a certain amount of endurance on the part of the viewer, knowing that the act itself is of the same quality, and no effort is made to cloak or edit it in a prettier, more appealing fashion. In Untitled :..., the aggression assumes form of slow, non-vocal and painstaking destruction. If the bottle were to symbolize one's pain, would grinding it away relentlessly with the goal to convert it into dust - to erase completely all form - heal?

This video is also an example of a recurrent theme amongst several artists : the penchant to work with broken glass. What meaning is there, to be found or made, from the act of destroying glass? The theme will be discussed in a later post.

1 comment:

renata j said...

would be nice to see it!