Critics’ Picks

Not Tonight, 2003.

Not Tonight, 2003.

Seattle

Miranda July

Tom Landowski Gallery
403 Cedar Street
July 5–August 14, 2003

Whitney Biennial alum Miranda July brings a series of photographs and a short single-channel video to this upstart Seattle space, in an effort billed as the polymath’s first show with a commercial gallery. Given July’s prodigious output—she’s produced short films, CDs, and elaborate, Laurie Anderson–like performance pieces—the milestone feels less like a debut than a sidebar, but it's no less interesting for that. Haysha Royko, 2002, a video that combines live action and animation, shows colorful auras emanating from people waiting restlessly in an airport. The photographs—found snapshots of a 1970s vintage, considerably enlarged—feature layered stick-on dots that carefully trace each image’s flow of energy. Orange dots pool in a girl’s hand, while another girl looks away; more orange dots course through the body of a man doing tae kwon do. Each photo seems to uncover an invisible world of vibrations and psychic longing locked in discarded frames of time. A vaguely New Age spirituality holds sway, but the soft-core metaphysics somehow takes on a severe and unsettling edge.