Gary Hill

Californian Gary Hill came to Seattle in 1985 to establish the video department at Cornish. By then he'd already been exploring language and phenomenology in his art, filtered through influences including surfing, skateboarding, and LSD. This big survey show is called glossodelic attractors. So, psychedelic + glossary = glossodelic. Get it—like a confusion of linguistic terms? And the "attractors" are the things pulling you in, the units of familiar meaning that are engaging you yet leading you astray, like a rogue wave or some bad acid. The Psychedelic Gedankenexperiment immediately teases your brain, as a nutty professor (Hill) gives a lecture on a pair of video screens, his words sounding like gibberish. His movements are all herky-jerky and unnatural. It's like a nightmare flashing back to freshman year Physics 101—and you don't understand a word he's saying! But wait, maybe you're not dreaming. Maybe you're not high. Sit on the weird foam stools, put on the 3-D glasses, and you may recall the backward-talking dwarf dream in Twin Peaks. The phonetic companion text on the wall helps translate the 22-minute videos—only one, actually, synchronized on the two screens. Reality is in there someplace, but it's been refracted, its meaning redirected; and Hill similarly splits our perceptions with stereo viewers, prisms, and curved projection screens in the smaller pieces that will rotate during the summer. (Thirteen works are currently on view.) BRIAN MILLER

Thursdays, Fridays, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Wednesdays, Saturdays, Sundays, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.; Wednesdays, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Starts: March 30. Continues through Sept. 16, 2012

 
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