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Posts Tagged ‘Patrick Gallagher’

OVER THE BAR at Life Café

An occasional series about extraordinary people and their work.

An illuminating encounter with PRANA.

By Life Café’s resident artist, John Sunderland

Chris Klapper and Patrick Gallagher are regulars at Life Café Bushwick.They’ve lived in and around Bushwick for sixteen years and as Chris says “been artists all our lives”. Having shown collaboratively many times, their next joint piece is called “Symphony in D Minor”, an interactive video and sound installation to be exhibited in the Skybox at 2424 studios, Philadelphia, PA.

PRANA, Chris’s recent highly engaging installation, supported by the Brooklyn Arts Council has been a major draw at The Invisible Dog Art Center in Brooklyn over the last two months. Having been voted ‘best in show’, its run ends April 24th.

As I discovered recently, the experience of visiting it (and that’s what it felt like- a visit) is something that stays with you afterwards.

About eight feet high and twenty-five feet long, the piece is large but not so that you can’t view it as a whole. Illuminated from an invisible source, thousands of white spheres glow in clusters, against a black background, dimming independently in soft pulses. This gives the whole piece the impression of a breathing light. But its more than a relic from a sixties sci-fi flick!

Though PRANA dominated the centers’ ground floor, as I came in from the bright street the subtle impact was not immediately evident. But then as my eyes adjusted, it reached out and touched me, drawing me to it like an oracle in a Brooklyn Delphi.

PRANA’S power of attraction connects through a deeply felt impression that there’s a non-human presence in the room, something organic, strange and alien, not disturbing or frightening, but definitely something alive.

As I came closer, it felt like I was having an encounter with something elemental, something from a different realm. Closer still and it appeared to react to my presence, pulsing quicker in the area directly in front of me, as though it was nervous or challenged, and any moment might shoot off like an alien spaceship or a nervous ghost. There were two other people standing there in front, and PRANA was reacting to them too.

To me, the memorable power of the installation was the anamorphic impression that not only did it have life; it had emotions too! This suspension of disbelief is the magic of Chris’ original and wonderful piece.

As I write, sadly in a few days the benign alien presence that is PRANA will depart this planet on its continuing mission- to encounter and communicate with other life forms on other worlds.