19 Rainstorms

If "19 Rainstorms" is a bit of virtual shamanism, well, it worked. In the midst of our bizarre winter drought, this show of watery video, photographs, and installations opened at Western Bridge, and voilĂ ! It was back to dreary Seattle rain. The show takes its title from Neil Goldberg's video installation of the same name, in which he recorded various Manhattan storms from the perspective of a video camera placed inside a randomly swinging plastic bag. It's not entirely effective, but there are glimpses of beauty in the refracted raindrops and near-abstract white noise of water trickling and showering. Trisha Donnelly's Canadian Rain is an intense dance-conjuration video; Tania Kitchell's text etched on glass describes the arrival of a storm with haikulike simplicity. Anri Sala's strange composite video imagines the artist controlling the chaos of an Albanian fireworks celebration on a rainy evening (with echoes of video footage of the war in Iraq). The masterpiece of this show, however, is Oliver Boberg's Country Road, a continuously looping 30-minute video of a rural landscape drenched in rain. The scene, with all its sound-stage fakery, plays out like an intricate drypoint etching set in motion. Nothing and everything happens. With Zen-like detail, the swirls and sounds of windblown water droplets are an invitation to pay attention to the world. Like the floating plastic bag in American Beauty, Boberg's video finds elegance in the (seemingly) banal. Western Bridge, 3412 Fourth Ave. S., 206-838-7444. Noon-6 p.m. Thurs.-Sat.

 
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