Because we had a free day today, Austin, Josh, Adam, and I started by going to the Void, a contemporary art gallery, education center, and studio space just a few blocks from the Derry city center. The current exhibition, which we had seen flyers for around town, was a set of three pieces called "Haunted" by Canadian artist Kelly Richardson.
The following video is the Void's trailer for "Mariner 9," and gives a fairly good idea of the feeling and landscape it portrays.
This first piece was really mind-blowing for me. I've always loved installation art for the potential that it has to transport people to another universe, and this was a prime example of this phenomenon. You enter the projection room after walking down a hallways with three 90 degree turns in it. The room is pitch black with two benches, and the long projection of "Mariner 9" goes across the wall, endlessly playing its film of the desolate space-scape. The long hallway helped remove the room from the rest of the gallery, and the surround sound projection made the room its own little world. Sitting on the bench, looking out at the scene made me forget that I was looking at one flat wall. Instead, I very quickly lost myself in the foreign world. I was perfectly content to sit there, absorbing the little details of the light, the slowly moving machinery, and the billowing dust. The sound of the wind, combined with creaking metal completed the scene perfectly. I this whole piece had everything I hope to seen in installations art. It was of good quality, with well done craftsmanship and technical skills, was well inserted into the space, and carried me into a different universe.
It was also very interesting to see this sort of collaboration, going across disciplines and countries. I would love to see more of this going on between artists and galleries in the future.
The Void gallery, though small, was really a lovely space, and I very much enjoyed what I saw there. The art was well chosen and well placed in the building, a very good experience over all.