Critics’ Picks

Zineb Sedira, MiddleSea, 2008, still from a color video, 16 minutes.


“Wild Is the Wind”

Trois Gallery
SCAD Atlanta 1600 Peachtree Street Building A, 4th floor
January 11–February 28

“Wild Is the Wind” brings together seven artists whose work shares a sensibility that the curator, Laurie Ann Farrell, connects to the mood and lyrics of the 1957 American song of the same title, a slow, melancholic ballad of longing, discovery, and love. To translate these emotions into a coherent visual exhibition, Farrell casts her net wide. MiddleSea, 2008, a hauntingly beautiful video by Zineb Sedira, follows a middle-aged man who is alternately lost in contemplation and pacing the deck as he travels as the lone passenger on a ferry. Ghada Amer’s equally compelling installation, Le Salon Courbé, 2007, explores the space between cultures and examines the definition of terrorism in English and Arabic. Kiluanji Kia Henda’s large-scale color prints reveal the beauty and dignity the Angolan photographer has found among Luanda’s poverty-struck inhabitants. His pictures provide an interesting contrast to Shish Kebab, 2004, Lara Baladi’s critical look at the culturally loaded media images that flood society.

Less obvious but no less powerful are paintings by Odili Donald Odita, whose hard-edge abstractions speak of a desire to create harmony among elements that may be at odds with one another. Similarly, Nicholas Hlobo’s elegant sewn “drawings” made from leather, tire rubber, and ribbon offer personal meditations regarding his search for acceptance as a gay black man in post-apartheid South Africa. Combined with Penny Siopis’s figurative paintings, which teeter between romanticism and fantasy, the exhibition becomes a thought-provoking meditation on the very basic human quest for understanding and acceptance.