The Fussy Eye: Gimme Shelter

Camouflage without a target.

Down on the Duwamish during World War II, an entire Boeing plant was disguised with trees and houses on its vast roof in order to resemble an innocent neighborhood, lest Japanese bombers attacked. Eric Eley recalls the same era in his in theater, a larger single iteration of smaller works seen last fall at Platform Gallery. Here, he fills the large central atrium with overhead netting, rags, string, and sticks. It's an imperfect canopy, the sort of aerial cover that soldiers use—even today in Afghanistan or Iraq—to hide tanks, trenches, planes, or gun emplacements from enemy aircraft or satellites. The whole shaky apparatus is held together with knots and loose tension; the netting, in an actual war zone, is meant to be ripped away in seconds for combat. It's provisional, not permanent. Eley, in his companion statement, hopes to explore "what constitutes shelter" in the work, though no soldier would consider the flimsy lattice to be a real roof. Shelter is the wrong word. As on an actual theater set, this structure is illusory, insubstantial, and ready to strike. Suyama Space, 2324 Second Ave., 256-0809, suyamapetersondeguchi.com/art. Free. 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Mon.–Fri. Ends April 8.

 
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