Three to See

If you’re going to the Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies at 618 S. Michigan, they’ve got a gift shop there, but, in the lobby, you want to see this:

Physically, it doesn’t sound like much, it’s basically two flat plasma screens in an industrial frame, okay, not much. But there’s a work on these screens by a very important local artist named Lincoln Schatz, and he works in new media and sculpture. He has exhibited around the world; New York, California, Barcelona, Prague, he’s got a new commission at the Institute of Modern Art in Valencia, he’s working on a large-scale public work for the Prague Biennial…

But his work at the Spertus is supposed to document their move to the new building that they’re building next door. He’s got one camera in the Spertus lobby and the other on the roof of the current Spertus building, so it’s photographing the construction site and the people walking into the lobby. Then a computer randomly retrieves the images and overlaps them, overlays them.

He says it’s about time and construction and all of that, doesn’t matter. Because when you see this work, it’s just gorgeous. First of all, it’s mysterious. These digital washes of subtle color and the overlapping of time, you see yourself in it. You see people of all backgrounds, you see movement. It’s like a high-tech watercolor in the way that it captures motion. It’s a very smart work.

By Edward Lifson, Arts & Entertainment Editor

WBEZ Chicago | December 14, 2005

© 2005 WBEZ, Chicago