05/20/10 – By GURPREET GHAG
The Bermuda triangle is a mystifying area of water linking the points of Bermuda, Miami and Puerto Rico where ships and planes have allegedly disappeared. So when an art exhibit with the same name opened at the Mercer Gallery, I should have expected the unexpected.
Arriving at the Mercer, I begin navigating in and out of a crowd of 30 or so people- all of them chatting, and looking over local artist Erin Thurlow’s exhibit of desolate objects placed in a seemingly cluttered fashion.
I first stop at a pair of sawed-off Chuck Taylor’s. The shoes, on the outskirts of the exhibit-facing in, are nothing but the parts that would cover your toes.
What’s this all about?
I sailed further west towards the bigger pieces of the installment, which seems to be two ladders – one standing upright and the other on its side.
Was this a ship wreck of some sorts?
Was it a sign that salvation was out of the question?
Lowell Bradshaw, at his first voyage at the gallery has set anchor at the same point.
“It’s all very comedic,” he says.
I wonder what could be so comedic about being lost in the triangle, but then he points back to the sawed-off Chucks.
“What is the artist saying?” he asks.
I thought that’s what I had asked him.
“Is that supposed to be the artist? Is that supposed to be the viewer?”
He looks to me for some sort of an answer and tells me again, “It’s all very comedic.”
Later, I arrive at an empty picture frame being illuminated by two spot-lights.
I roam more between the crowd of people and pass a series of bricks made out of cracked mirrors- I look at my cracked reflection.
What is going on here?
Finally, I am directed towards the artist himself.
Erin Thurlow – whose studio is actually across the street from Mercer in the basement of the Free Gallery – explains how all the pieces came from around the neighborhood and that the project was a series of works created over the past few years.
“Simply amazing,” I say, “but, what’s this all about?”
“It,” he explains, “is a comedy.”
I tell him I think I finally get it. I thank him and sail around a little more and then to the back gallery where Alex Hubbard’s video installment of ‘Lost Loose Things’ is playing and then I sail back to the front.
I float around in one spot, still lost in the Bermuda Triangle and then decide to call it a night.
Both Thurlow’s ‘Bermuda Triangle’ and Hubbard’s ‘Lost Loose Things’ runs at the Mercer until June 19th, with Thurlow talking about his piece on May.29th at 2 p.m.
For more information about the exhibits or the gallery, you can visit www.mercerunion.org.