Nightmare on Broad Street: ‘Positive Pressure’

exhibit review

Nightmare on Broad Street: ‘Positive Pressure’

Erika Wilkins

Spectrum Editor

Entering the quiet, dimly lit, white-walled gallery space at the Fine Art Building is disturbing. Most akin to walking into a scene in a horror film, “Positive Pressure: Current Experiments by C. Matthew Szösz” exhibit has a strangely calm but undeniably unsettling ambience that washes over you the moment you enter.

Sitting in front of the facing wall, three aligned white rectangles hold three televisions broadcasting unnerving images. In what looks like a desolate basement, glass objects drop from the ceiling and shatter on the floor. All the while a team of what appears to be artists work diligently on an unidentified project. The visuals are disconcerting, but the artwork that surrounds them is stunning.

Glass objects are perched atop display boxes or hung with wires from the ceiling. The shapes, while best described as abstract are still cohesive. Most are rounded with slit-like tips and indentions uniformly throughout.

Szösz, the craft and material studies resident artist this semester, crafted pieces that while not representative of anything in particular are distinctly familiar. What exactly you relate them with could be anything from underwater sea-creatures to phallic symbols to tobacco-smoking memorabilia.

Whether these are inspirations or associations is unclear. The Rhode Island School of Design graduate exhibit is haunting, elegant and not to be missed.

“Positive Pressure: Current Experiments by Matthew Szösz” at the Fine Arts Building gallery closes on April 6.

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