New York

“Dark Rooms”

Artists Space Exhibitions

“Dark Rooms,” a group of installations by Stephen Barry, Luis Nicolau, Julia Scher, H. Shearer, Jana Sterbak, and Patricia Thornley, provided an occasion for reconsidering the range, potential, and lasting vitality of the art installation. While none of these pieces projected the frenetic urgency or eruptive energy of early installation art, all demonstrated a seriousness, sophistication, calculation, and self-consciousness about the production of ephemeral events. Several of the projects challenged the conventions and operations of the exhibition space, and most required a significant commitment from the viewer; psychological and physical passivity was not easily sustained.

Jana Sterbak’s installation, entitled Attitudes, was a double bed, covered by a crisp white sheet neatly tucked in place, on a modest platform. The head of the bed was a cascade of plump pillows, whose white linen

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