Manifest Destiny

A quilt made of heroin baggies. A 2600-foot long string constructed entirely out of supermarket twist ties. A huge 3D mural built with old tires scavenged from highways and junkyards. All this is just five minutes from where you sleep, at the Addison Gallery. These works are part of Over+Over Passion for Process, one of the five new exhibitions at the Addison. Over+Over brings together different artists’ paradoxical mixes of today’s mass-production mentality combined with their artist’s dedication to unique pieces of art. The artists experimented with the repetition of materials. An entire corner and ceiling is taken up with a stalagmite formation made out of rainbow-colored paper cups. There is a Budweiser six-pack created with beads. The visually stimulating creative abstractness of works created shredded maps, pencil tips, and marker caps are a delight, with special appeal for the younger crowd. Artists featured include Fred Tomaselli, Lisa Hoke, Chakaia Booker, Liza Lou, and Rachel Perry Welty, whose twist tie wall tapestry showed the “physical connection existing between people in a community among others.” The most talked-about work currently on view is Artist-in-Residence Alexis Rockman’s Manifest Destiny. Rockman’s eight-by-twenty-four-foot vision of post-apocalyptic Brooklyn depicts a flooded borough, devoid of humans and depicting strange aquatic life swimming amidst decaying remains of human-built structures. At the exhibition opening two weeks ago Addison Director Brian Allen expressed his excitement over the piece, explaining how lucky the Addison was to have it. Indeed, the intensely colorful, seductive piece, the height of one and a half full-grown men and the length of four Brian Allens, attracted a large audience and incited a strong reaction in all present. Gallery-goers reactions had disparate reactions. Some found it to be “very depressing” or while others said that it conveyed “a strong sense of hope.” Emma Dorsey ’06 remarked that she found the decay “beautiful. The scene feels peaceful.” Susan Ho ’06 pointed out the streaks of clear blue sky, citing them as “optimistic.” Others said they found the lack of humans poignant, as if the painting was an antithesis to the common egotistical view that everything ends with the end of human life. Physics Department Chair Clyfe Beckwith said it was depressing.