Shannon Eakins, Marc Dombrosky and Cerberus (yes, Cerberus) at Fifth Wall Gallery


The Details

Shadows kept separate, shy of the light
Through December 22; daily, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.; free
Fifth Wall Gallery, inside Emergency Arts, 592-1467 or

Cerberus is completely insane, motorized and at the gate, unleashing three-headed comedic hell at anyone who triggers the motion sensor inside Fifth Wall Gallery. The beast, composed of wires, speakers, lights, dog masks and objects from the artist’s past, is one of two separate installations --one by Shannon Eakins and the other by Marc Dombrosky --connected by the theme of transition and dislocation.

The mechanical Cerberus (the mythological creature that guards the Underworld) and his clumsily flipping snake tail are undeniably Eakins—the artist who gave us a punching bag filled with squeaky toys and videos of mechanical toy animals going haywire, shilling cake frosting or facing some level of comedic tragedy. There was also her ice purse, carried until it melted, and her compelling nature videos, tender and brutal, which somehow seemed to mock and celebrate our sense of things.

Cerberus, the guard of her transition, is more an over-the-top composite of a beast, so meticulously assembled you feel the fear even as you can’t stop laughing at the chaos and anxiety. Across the hall, Dombrosky’s plastic bags—featuring embroidered names of the jailhouse denizens who discarded them upon release—contain stories built from objects that hold their own pasts, imagined or not: vintage Vegas cuff links, a George Michael Faith cassette, a magnifying glass and paper. Orderly and laid out on the floor as if a science project about existentialism, the artifacts offer a meditative response to the more visceral alarm across the hall.

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