Artist Profile: Salt Lake City
Behind the Scenes
The Life and Art of Randy Rasmussen
Randy Rasmussen’s new 20 foot painting “Woodside” is smaller than what he’s used to working with. As Technical Director for both Plan B Theatre and Kingsbury Hall his usual canvas is the size of a stage, a scale he’s been working with since his days at Jordan High School. Back then Jordan was one of the last high schools to have a working fly system and Rasmussen was part of the stage crew. It was there that he found his niche, among creative students who made a comfortable home outside the mainstream world. “Theatre is a magnet for people who don’t fit in anywhere else. It’s a place where freaks congregate. It was the only place in high school for a freak and I met my friends there. When there is distinctly a majority and distinctly a minority, that minority gets bonded together really tight and the next thing you know you have twenty to thirty friends that you’ll have for the rest of your life,” Rasmussen says.
In Plain Site: Salt Lake City
Two Installation Projects Coming to Salt Lake Blend Art and Technology
Art has always embraced the technologies of the times to expand the forms of universal expression. So as technology becomes more sophisticated, and thus more costly, one must frequently turn to large public projects to discover what artists can do with new tools. Two large building projects nearing completion in Salt Lake City this fall will allow Utah to witness two such projects by internationally recognized artists. While architect Philip Beesley is creating scientific structures that have the grace and form of artworks, Dutch designer Simon Heijdens creates art installations that really on sophisticated technology for their stunning effects. Both share an interest in delving into the power of site.
Exhibition Review: Salt Lake
The Medium is the Message
The Waxworks of Jorge Rojas at Mestizo Gallery
There’s an electric typewriter on a table; nearby stands a portable television set. In the recent past each of these conduits of ideas and sensations not only played a part in changing how we work, but transformed who and what we are. Today, both machines are obsolete, their tasks having been taken over by functionally streamlined replacements. What makes such obsolescence—the inescapable consequence of living and dying in time—visible and palpable, rather than something we only think about, is that each has been encased in a skin-like layer of wax. Unlike, say, the plastic film most things arrive wrapped in today, wax brings with it layers of significance. Its oily feel, malleability, the way it captures light, holds and responds to heat, and shows its history give wax a virtual power of speech. Wax whispers to us of the past, but its inert nature also makes promises for the future: “preserved in wax” speaks equally to science and art. Even sitting still, Jorge Rojas’ machines move away, merging into the past like ships sailing into mist. But they also argue for a future in which their descendants may become flesh. Humans and their work, alienated from each other by machines, will then be reunited. This may be among the last moments when we can still distinguish our tools from ourselves, and the understated revelation of these two sculptures may be the most disturbing turn in a room full of odd, challenging objects.