Transportive in many ways, artist Matt Taber’s exhibition “the world is yours if you are real” asks visitors to peer inside a cloud sculpture 17 feet off the ground. Metal stairs rise into an off-white room of cotton batting, containing two cloud paintings by the artist. It’s a reprieve and a riddle, an escape pod and an anchor. On now at Brooklyn’s The Chimney gallery, the installation ultimately aims to address the concepts of body, surface, action and stasis—and it does so in a way both photogenic and tactile.
The Columbia and School of the Art Institute of Chicago-educated artist does not ignore the changing definition of the cloud. While his work invokes the weather-related, free-floating objects in the sky, he’s also pushing viewers to consider data and storage. As with so many successful exhibitions, Taber delivers an experience that can be enjoyed purely for its aesthetics or—for those willing to dig in and search—a deeper meaning.
Beside the cloud tower, Taber has set up a screen to play his eight-and-a-half minute film, My Name is Everybody, which features everything from drumming and drilling to digital animation and homo erotica. The gallery refers to the work as a “pastiche of the American West” and, while that’s true, it’s certainly unlike any other. There’s something reminiscent of Jodorowsky between the clash of characters and landscapes. It captivates in a way that’s very different than the phenomena rising beside it.
“the world is yours if you are real” is on now through 16 December at The Chimney (200 Morgan Avenue, Brooklyn). Taber will be in discussion with art theorist Barbara Reisinger at the gallery on 29 November, commencing at 7PM. The Chimney is open to the public Saturday and Sunday, or through appointment otherwise.
Images courtesy of The Chimney