What is the artist’s job? To find beauty? Sometimes, if we are lucky. To feed the soul? Maybe, if we can channel the sublime even for a split second or two. The argument could be made that it is more often than not to show us how to look, where to look and what to look at. Monet, when asked to explain his haystack paintings is said to have responded “Shadows aren’t always gray”. So what should we make of Udo Rein’s epic “Rest Area” project? Rein points out still frames and snippets from his epic journey along Route 66 and highlights them with mixed media in his trademark style. What is the fascination with these desolate places where lonely travelers pause to snack, empty their bowels and bladders and maybe grab a nap before continuing along the path to nowhere? Why rest areas? Because they are the pit stops in our race to some vague finish line? Because they are the pauses in between the action, like the pauses in between the notes in a Mozart piano concerto? Or is it the idea that the journey is it’s own reward? That the spaces are just as important as the quarter notes. That the “rest areas” of our lives are the markers along the way, dotting the landscape of our existence like sentinels in an abandoned battlerfield. Homer had it right. He gives Odysseus nothing but detours and rest areas so that it takes him twenty years to finally make it back to Ithaca. Udo Rein is our modern day Odysseus. He is on the journey back to Ithaca, his “Heimweg”, and it may take him another twenty years to get there, but the end is not his reward. The road is a thing unto itself, and so he points out the “rest areas”, as if they were haystacks, and says “Look here, shadows aren’t always gray”.

Robert I. Levy, Los Angeles 2013

Du 23 au 29 août
Peintures, photos
Lavoir Vasserot – entrée libre

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