Test your Perceptions at ICA

In 1993, author Lois Lowry disturbed a generation of children with the monochrome, dystopian setting of her science fiction novel, The Giver. For the main character Jonas, his ability to see the color “red” in a black-and-white world propels him into a simultaneously shattering and uplifting personal transformation.

Through February 19, if you walk into the Institute of Contemporary Art and make a sharp right, you just might find yourself in the midst of such sudden soul-slapping awareness. Being confronted with the paintings of Charline Von Heyl is rather like seeing color for the first time in a previously colorless existence.

Once your discovery of the color spectrum is complete, shapes will begin to take hold. It’s more than just a result of being the victim of pareidolia (the psychological phenomenon that causes you to see faces in clouds and the occasional Martian mountain). It’s an active investigation into perception almost as fun as childhood memories of searching for hidden pictures in a Highlights magazine.

If you venture upstairs, you’ll be confronted with the much darker world of Blowing on a Hairy Shoulder/Grief Hunters, on view through December 4, which presents work by twenty artists from Israel, Greece, Germany, Belgium, Britain, and America. Dealing with the themes of originality and origin, these works offer yet another investigative challenge. Navigating through the maze of video clips, sculptures, photography, and drawings will lead you on a journey simultaneously unsettling and humorous.

Be sure to take a few minutes to watch The 588 Project, a video by Gilad Ratman. While mud monsters may be the typical fare of campy horror films, the repetitive sounds and images of mud pool-submerged people and their musical instruments that double as breathing apparatus will leave you mesmerized. As it cycles slowly through clear tubes in the treetops, only to eventually emerge through a series of wooden pipes, mud takes on the transformative beauty of flowing water and musical notation.

Just two of the exhibitions currently on view at ICA, the works of Von Heyl and Grief Hunters will leave you happily balanced in a world between color and mud, formlessness and renewal.

Chris Macan is a Curator, Photographer and Artist in Havertown PA. He is the owner of Dissentia Curatorial Services. Discover his Work on InLiquid.
Chris Macan
Chris Macan

Chris Macan is a Curator, Photographer and Artist in Havertown PA. He is the owner of Dissentia Curatorial Services. Discover…

Chris Macan is a Curator, Photographer and Artist in Havertown PA. He is the owner of Dissentia Curatorial Services. Discover his Work on InLiquid.…

Chris Macan is a Curator, Photographer and Artist in Havertown PA. He is the owner of Dissentia Curatorial Services. Discover his Work on InLiquid.…

Chris Paxson
Chris Paxson
Kathy is a visual artist who works in a variety of media, including painting, printmaking and collage. She creates surfaces that manipulate our perception of figures and spaces, with breaks in logical forms and competing perspectives.
Kathy Loev Putnam
Kathy Loev Putnam

Kathy is a visual artist who works in a variety of media, including painting, printmaking and collage. She creates surfaces…

Kathy is a visual artist who works in a variety of media, including painting, printmaking and collage. She creates surfaces that manipulate our perception of figures and spaces, with breaks in logical…

Kathy is a visual artist who works in a variety of media, including painting, printmaking and collage. She creates surfaces that manipulate our perception of figures and spaces, with breaks in logical forms and competing…

Buy Shaver is a visual artist whose diverse body of work includes paintings on canvas, works on paper and wall paintings. Discover his unique work on Inliquid.
Buy Shaver
Buy Shaver

Buy Shaver is a visual artist whose diverse body of work includes paintings on canvas, works on paper and wall paintings.…

Buy Shaver is a visual artist whose diverse body of work includes paintings on canvas, works on paper and wall paintings. Discover his unique work on Inliquid.…

Buy Shaver is a visual artist whose diverse body of work includes paintings on canvas, works on paper and wall paintings. Discover his unique work on Inliquid.…

Ever since I could remember I was always attracted to people and places, but I was not always good with words or finding connection. Photography was my way of fitting in--my way to communicate the beauty I see around me. I’ve traveled the world documenting all types of subjects and experienced many extraordinary people and places.
Richard W. Gretzinger
Richard W. Gretzinger

Ever since I could remember I was always attracted to people and places, but I was not always good with words or finding…

Ever since I could remember I was always attracted to people and places, but I was not always good with words or finding connection. Photography was my way of fitting in--my way to communicate the beauty…

Ever since I could remember I was always attracted to people and places, but I was not always good with words or finding connection. Photography was my way of fitting in--my way to communicate the beauty I see around me.…

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