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Myron Helfgott: Recent Multimedia Installations
by Howard Risatti


In recent years, Myron Helfgott has developed a series of room-sized sculptural installations whose visual elements are, in a sense, held together by sound. Carefully orchestrated to draw viewers psychologically into the space, his audio tracks draw the work out and slow down the viewing process by enticing viewers to linger and listen. When I recently encountered these multimedia works at Art6 Gallery in Richmond, Virginia, I was reminded of the 19th-century custom of placing a single artwork in a room by itself so it could be examined in detail, without distraction. Frederick Church did this with his large painting Heart of the Andes. I mention this not because Church made a small fortune charging a fee to the large crowds who came to see it, but because the practice seems to reflect a relationship with artworks that has become increasingly rare today. As museum studies show, most contemporary viewers spend a measly three or four seconds in front of a work.

Buddha Wisdom/What Women Have Told Me, 2005-06.
Plywood, wood slats, electric motor, mixed media, and audio, dimensions variable.


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