To call Peter Sarkisian: Video Works, 1994-2011 —currently on view at the New Mexico Museum of Art—simply an exhibit is an understatement.
Featuring 15 video and mixed-media works that span 18 years in the Santa Fe-based artist’s career, Video Works is an all-encompassing experience that blends technology, art and sleight of hand.
Pieces like “Chair and Glass,” “Pounding Study” or “Ink Blot”—which features a miniature human figure escaping from an inkwell—dare spectators to uphold the “no touching” rule, and at the same time, aftershock them with a head-scratch, a double-take and a grin.
Sarkisian’s run at NMMA concludes this Friday with a public lecture from the artist wherein a glimpse into his creative eye—which seems to balance at the crossroads of digital and fine art—is sure to be discussed.
“The dynamic between the curator and artist is different for each show,” Laura Addison—the museum’s contemporary art curator, who was in charge of VW—says. “For Peter Sarkisian’s show, I was his collaborator, really, and not the other way around.”
Addison tells SFR the exhibition had been staged in five other cultural venues before it made its way to Santa Fe, giving it an inherent sense of flow.
“[Sarkisian] had a strong sense of what worked as an overall ‘composition’ and what didn’t have as strong an audience appeal,” she says. “He also was eager to include new works that he had done since the exhibition was first curated by the University of Wyoming Art Museum”—works like the aforementioned “Ink Blot,” “Book I” and “Floating Pencil.”
“I was eager to see those new pieces included, as well as works owned by local collectors,” Addison continues. “These newest works distill in a very elegant way how he toys with illusion, narrative and scale, so they were a great way to complete the story.”