Magazine article Artforum International

Kristin Lucas: Postmasters Gallery

Magazine article Artforum International

Kristin Lucas: Postmasters Gallery

Article excerpt

Recently, a friend remarked to me that she was experiencing her Saturn return--an astrological phenomenon that happens about once every thirty years when, after orbiting the sun, the planet returns to the place it was when a person was born. Her feelings of trepidation, the changes in her life, and her description of the ominous effect led us to the following, from newage-directory.com: "While undergoing your Saturn Return you may find yourself turning inward and reflecting on your individual destiny. You examine your true needs and desires and the role you want to play on the world's stage." The definition came to mind while visiting San Francisco-based Kristin Lucas's third solo exhibition at Postmasters, which, as if the artist were experiencing her own Saturn return, teemed with anxiety, longing, discovery, and a little divination.

There were plenty of acrylic comets and sand-colored fiberglass rocks to make the show feel interplanetary, too. These were interspersed throughout the first gallery in Whatever Your Mind Can Conceive (all works 2007), a three-channel video installation projected onto two large wooden roadside billboards and a fiberglass cast of an old computer monitor, so as to create the illusion that the video is playing on its obsolete screen. The installation takes its title from a moment in one of the vignettes in which the artist, playing a retired bingo caller with a ghastly rash, visits a hypnotherapist, who instructs her, "Whatever your mind can conceive ... it can achieve." Meanwhile, on the other screens, Lucas is seen wandering around uneasily--in search, perhaps, of something to conceive and achieve, though it is unclear whether she ever finds it. These videos depict her framed against a desert backdrop in northern California, gazing at the camera (sans rash), blocking the sun from her face, and trying to impart instructions for breathing exercises, as wind buffeting the camera's microphone and a gentle piano melody alternate as a sound track. …

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