Exhibition Review - Peter Campus: Pause
Review by: Billy Anania
Time passes a little slower in the moving images of Peter Campus. That is, the fishing boats,
buoys and seabirds that drift serenely across each frame are governed by the sea, a gradual
force in the coastal areas where the New York artist shot his pause series.
Even the people that populate these sites operate in a tranquil, unhurried manner. Perhaps this
is symbolic of their particular lifestyle, or of the artist’s unique vision. Either way, these aren’t
any ordinary coastal scenes. Rather, the images presented here exist at the intersection
of photography and videography. The line between stillness and slowness is altogether eroded
by the New York artist, whose camera functions as a modifier of space and time.
This is the final weekend to catch peter campus: pause at Cristin Tierney Gallery in Chelsea.
Two black box viewing rooms allow visitors to take their time with the pastoral works, which
were captured in 4K at various locations around Long Island, Massachusetts and western
Fishing boats, workers, industrial metal and machinery comprise ebb and flow, a video
installation that highlights the serenity of nautical work life. Two screens show imagery that may seem perpetually mirrored, but what separates them is subtle and essential. Minor shifts in angle reveal small differences in the two frames, wherein similarities in form and color are
juxtaposed with slightly altered perspectives.
In at rest, campus interweaves images from the waterways of Pornic, France. Long takes of
beaches, fields and houses gradually fade to grey and then to black as the camera remains
completely still. Several beached boats and buoys speckle a dried-out waterway in one muddy
shore scene. In another, a young boy dressed in blue slowly emerges on a ladder, gazing
directly at the camera from a concrete horizon.
A similar human presence pervades all three videos. Shown wandering among vast land and
seascapes, the pedestrians and fishermen function as passengers in a larger vehicle. Their
existence helps convey the immensity of each location and the tranquility of life in each frame.
Sunlight and shadows intermingle against shimmering bodies of water in the pause series,
presenting a hallucinatory aura akin to abstract expressionism. In cutting to black between
shots, campus interjects his own artistic caesuras, which cleverly break up what would
otherwise be complete ambient bliss.
peter campus: pause will be on display through Saturday, February 17 at 540 W 28th St. For
more information, call 212-594-0550 or visit www.cristintierney.com.