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Hints of a dark future in the hands of tech at Kleven Contemporary

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Something might have happened here. Andreana Donahue’s installation at Kleven Contemporary hints at our uncertain future.
Photo: Kristen Peterson

The Details

it seemed like a good idea at the time
Through September 15, hours vary, free.
Kleven Contemporary, 520 E. Fremont St. (inside Emergency Arts), 501-9093 or [email protected]

If you experience a slight physical sensation, possibly even a chill, while walking into Kleven Contemporary, it might have something to do with the sense of isolation brought on by the whistle-clean spacecraft chamber (à la sci-fi movies). Or, maybe it’s the fact that you’ve entered into a peculiar and open-ended storyline.

Whichever the reason, Andreana Donahue has moved us several notches from reality by creating from paper and cardboard an experience of elsewhere, solitude and maybe even dread with her installation, it seemed like a good idea at the time.

It’s not a surprising turn for the artist, whose Winchester installation last year, getting close to the event horizon, included objects from landscapes not of the desert: an iceberg carved out of layers of paper and a patch of lawn (also from paper). But at Kleven Contemporary, Donahue’s sense of elsewhere seems to be compounded.

Her homemade creation of a sci-fi movie-inspired control room, “a fictional representation of a fictional creation,” taps into our looming “detachment from physical reality,” a result of technological dependence, and draws on the recurring theme of isolation in ’60s- and ’70s-era sci-fi movies. “A lot of it has to do with this romanticized idea of isolation, and how once you get there, it’s not always what is envisioned.”

Also played uncertain is our future in the hands of technology. The chamber, empty of people, but containing items seemingly left behind, hints that something might have happened. HAL, perhaps?

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