I’m not afraid to admit: art doesn’t always make sense to me. When attending a showing or looking at a display, sometimes it takes effort, but eventually I'll find something to appreciate. Sometimes it takes absolutely no effort and I fall in love with a piece the instant I see it.
Terrain was unfortunately neither of those for me this year.
bigger space, more artists and less than a handful
of things that stood out in the least. One showing that did catch my
attention happened to be named “Ape Sh!t Show” very aptly fitting in retrospect. I personally felt the show
overall was much too dark and bland- the type of art that’s trying too
hard to be art- like the punk kid trying on 14 different
outfits to make sure he’s punk enough. The night was a long boring blur featuring an overpowering lack of
color, hope, inspiration and originality on the whole. The show was a tremendous
let down in the broadest level.
The third floor featured the same slit-your-wrist bad poetry that can be heard at any gathering of more than two angst ridden teenagers anywhere about town, a live drawing demonstration (which I never did see actually happen), a smattering of blase' photography and, shoved in a neglected back corner, the few truly creative submissions: short films. The second floor featured a grey-scale rainbow of art work and photography that reached an over-saturated common theme of "uniquely different" several years ago and the first floor featured one band after another of the same post-Nirvana unintelligible garage band noise that Spokane refuses to break away from. At the end of the night the only thing I was excited about was getting home to take my shoes off.
a more specific level, there were a few pieces that did catch my
attention and showed a little bit of flavor- the above mentioned Ape
Sh!t Show being one of them. One fun, vibrant bright spot in the night, the four piece Ape Sh!t photos
taken around downtown superimposed a King Kong sized ape enjoying a brew atop
the Steam Plant, window shopping in the third floor windows of River
Park Square, taking in the sights from the Parkade, etc. Aside from the whimsy, the photos layering caught my eye, made me wonder
how they pieced together the art work to make the pictures look real; unless they actually were and I
missed the news clip about a giant ape in an awesome 70’s jacket
running around downtown. The set was unique, different and colorful in a room
full of bland.
piece that caught my attention was an installment piece by Brent Schneider of six skate
decks assembled together painted candy colored blue, red and green with
three old school Nintendo 8-bit black/grey pictures made out of
keyboard keys: a Nintendo controller, Mario jumping, and a Mario mushroom.
Being a child of 80’s it was a cool nostalgic piece to look at. Beyond
nostalgia, the work that went into making the pictures out of
various colors of keyboard keys was flat out impressive.
brilliant Dr. Seuss-ish knife sharpener/whisk machine and two great short
films round out all the art that caught my attention. Five pieces (sets) in a
three story art exhibit; more than slightly disappointing.
I will point out again though: art is
subjective and a different experience for every person. Terrain's show this year wasn’t
my thing. It’s ok and it happens sometimes. Some days you want to take everything home, some days you can't understand why anyone would take any of it home. The majority of people loved the show, many pieces of art had sold stickers, the bands, I'm sure, all garnered new followers. The event on a whole, while not my particular cup of tea this go round, was well organized, well attended, and did not lack at all in the number of submissions and participants. It's great to see an event that opens its doors for so many artists to have a chance to be on display in Spokane. Terrain is a much needed and much appreciated yearly event that should be on everyone's calendar simply for the experience.
As important as it is to
open your mind to art, it is equally important to be able to say sometimes
it’s just not your taste. That is the beautiful thing about art- there
are so many different types, levels, styles and colors, there’s
always more to see and another opportunity to find something you love.
Last year was an unforgettable experience for some people, this year may
have been for others. Maybe next year will be mine.