Exhibition Archive
19 Jan – 9 Feb 2007 - Donna Beam gallery, Las Vegas USA


Near Dark

Carolyn Castano / Gordon Cheung / Peter Lamb / Stephen Hendee / Pearl C. Hsiung / Dennis Hollingsworth / Neal Rock

Curated by Neal Rock

In 1987 rookie film director Kathryn Bigelow completed her first movie Near Dark, exploring her interest in portraying identifiable, contemporary heroines within the bravura of masculine film genres. Using almost the entire main cast (bar Sigourney Weaver) from James Cameron‚s Aliens, the
film was released only to be engulfed by teen phenomenon, The Lost Boys. It was, to all extents and purposes, a film resigned to the video market. Relegated to those dusty back shelves and discovered by accident when finally running out of options on a Saturday night rental.

With the Aliens cinematographer Adam Greenberg and writer Eric (The Hitcher) Red also in on the show, it was very much a Frankenstein‚s patchwork of other filmic talent. But later this Gothic Western road movie was to find its audience, just like its very own characters; fragmented and dispersed
across the US, in those very back rooms on the edge of boredom, in search of something.

The objects in this exhibition structurally echo the journey of this film, in their search for an audience much like Near Dark‚s characters struggle for both existence and hope. Some works might appear comfortable as a recognizable way of making that much loved and hated thing called art but on closer inspection no one here is ok with things. At the Donna Beam gallery in Las Vegas these artists are still stuck in the middle of somewhere, trying to figure it out∑ a way to be, in an adopted skin that never really feels right. They invoke a mixing of genres and subject dialogues, appearing to us darkly, at a side glance, in a space permitted within an afterthought.

In these worlds any narrative is handled with trembling hands it is as the west coast artist Allan Kaprow forecast, somewhat prophetically in 1974, today there are countless artists and reproductions, countless gods and cosmologies. When the one is replaced by the many, reality may be perceived as a menu of illusions, transformable and replenishable according to need. When the many is replaced by the indivisible even, does it matter where the dust falls at all?

Text by David Edward 2007

19 Jan – 9 Feb 2007
Mon-Fri 9am-5pm
Sat 10am-2pm

Donna Beam Gallery
Alta Ham Fine Arts Building
University of Nevada Las Vegas
4505 Maryland Parkway
Las Vegas Nevada 89154

Tel: (702) 895-3893



< back

2005 © Gordon Cheung. All rights reserved. International copyright laws apply to all content.