"Whistling in the Dark " Text And Press
|'Journeys' a new exhibition at the Ritter Gallery or Florida International
University Includes an Installation made especially for this exhibition by
Miami based artist David Rohn.
Entitled 'Whistling in the Dark" this exhibition takes us on a journey that the artist has very much sequentially scripted by providing a number of stages and tableaux for a cast of characters , both present and suggested . As we enter WHISTLING IN THE DARK we encounter a slowly revolving stage set at the end of a space with sloping sides to exaggerate the perspective and create the illusion of depth. The character that occupies the constantly revolving platform is a full size human figure on all fours with a "Elizabethan;style' collar like the ones used on dogs and cats to keep them from biting or licking wounds.. The lighting is blue gel florescent and the sound of (the artist whistling) "Whistle While You Work"is played thru out the installation.
After this side show intro we slip past a dark curtain to a large , darkly undefined space with a puppet theatre with small children s chairs assembled in front of it. The surrounding space is defined by 4 corner stage flats with schematic architectural motifs drawn on them. 2 puppets made out of cotton work gloves sit on the stage platform front.The lighting of this space is from a series of snap on lamps with drawings mounted on the front and flickring lamps usually used by decorators to simulate the light of candles.
Rohn s images and ideas come largely from encyclopedias and textbooks and his concerns are with the perceptions we have and teach of the world, and how the images we use for this both define other unsaid perceptions about our world and how we use our perceptions to define and ultimately limit our overall understanding of the world.
While the theatrical lighting and misplaced scale of WHISTLING IN THE DARK generate a sense of mystery and disharmony,the images used are culled directly from everyday images of life as we teach it to kids;And the repetition of the banal Whistling in the Dark audio track (whistled of course) suggests there is much more to the natural world and the associative aspects that we bring to our everyday experience than is generally acknowledged.