Erica Wessmann’s exhibit HUNGER in the Center Gallery both resonates with and stands in contrast to Ann Wessmann’s Memento. It is an abstraction of a terrible event that took place in New York City in 2012. The materials of the installation are concrete and blood, as if you could literally transpose the actual event, and recontextualize it; make the materials make the metaphor.
A certain kind of terrible beauty pervades this project. Wessmann’s attempt to use an abstract language as a stand in for narrative is heart-stopping. This work successfully alerts the viewer to a history of violence o the streets of New York City, the objects are evocative and analogous; just uttering the words that are her materials: concrete and blood conjure up the viewer’s own images and relationship to this crisis in our culture.
The small accompanying book is a terrific companion – culled from social media – texts, emails, as well as print media to augment the story being told.
Image: Erica Wessmann, Pathway, Blood and concrete, 36 3/8 x 17 x 2 inches, 2014.