"Fluctuating Capacity" travels through time at SooVAC

"Fluctuating Capacity" travels through time at SooVAC
Adam Hamilton

As with all exhibits at Soo Visual Arts Center, a helpful map is provided for "Fluctuating Capacity," a new show featuring work by Adam Hamilton. The paper gives the titles of all the artwork on a floor plan of the gallery. However, the map for this particular exhibition is mysteriously missing one piece of art.

The work is a very large contraption made out of random objects: an old trunk, a mortar and pestle, bottles full of unnamed liquids, clocks, bamboo place mats, a magnifying glass, scissors, and other things. Hidden in this conglomeration is a letter, dated 2001, from a mother to her son Ray. The letter concerns a time machine previously owned by Ray's father.

"Fluctuating Capacity" travels through time at SooVAC
By Adam Hamilton
"I have decided to leave your father's machine to Jimmy in the will," she writes. "I know this is not what you want, and I'm sorry if you think I don't care about your opinions, but I hope that you understand my desire for the retrieval of his life. This whole thing is so inconceivable, sometimes I feel like we are in some kind of crazy dream." 

With the unnamed, time-machine installation at the center, Hamilton's pieces pay homage to the time-travel fantasies that have become a part of our cultural imagination. Birds fly through portals, while molecular models, embalming fluid, and ominous ducks percolate the gallery in a narrative to be pieced together. The work tells a story -- although not in any linear fashion. As you experience each piece, it takes you on a journey of sorts through past and present trauma, and, ultimately, into our collective psyche. 

"Fluctuating Capacity" travels through time at SooVAC
Conspiracy by Adam Hamilton

Hamilton effortlessly blends sculptural and painting traditions, with the result being that the pieces are both/neither paintings and sculptures. In one work, a deconstructed antique telephone with a duck on top attaches to a painting of a mid-century car being pulled out of a lake. The painting itself displays three-dimensional qualities, with its curious tag on the side of it.

In some cases, you don't know where one piece ends and another begins. Does the box full of embalming fluid belong with the horse-person looking into the tesseract, or with the rubber duck painting/sculpture? You can't be sure, and in a way it doesn't really matter. This isn't an exhibition of individual pieces, but rather a well thought out world and storyline. 


"Fluctuating Capacity"
Exhibition runs concurrent with "Enough," featuring work by Joseph Rizzo, Joseph Sinness, and Joel Starkey.
Both shows run through March 23
Soo Visual Arts Center
2638 Lyndale Ave. S., Minneapolis

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Soo Visual Arts Center

2909 Bryant Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55408



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