March 07/ WM issue #1:SIMON LEE at ROEBLING HALL

March 07/ WM issue #1:SIMON LEE at ROEBLING HALL
Simon Lee, The Purpose of All Travel, Installation View, Roebling Hall, New York, 2007

Simon Lee: The Purpose of All Travel  


By Jemma Jorel,
whitehot magazine of contemporary art,

New York




Perhaps it's no new concept to extract from the ordinary a work of art. Innovators on the subject go back to Duchamp's controversial urinal sculpture. Some parallels might be found in the work of concept artist Simon Lee at his Chelsea exhibit.   


Aptly titled “The Purpose of All Travel” the show consists of 10 Lambda photographs and 2 video installations, all involving commuter busses wired with cameras. The main gallery features 9 photographs, taken of city commuters on busses in Berlin , London , and Athens .  The images give an external perspective of the riders, paying attention to moments oft forgotten or ignored.

Candidly captured, these average people take on a haunting importance, enhanced by the audio recording of a passenger's humming on a bus that accompanies a video installation entitled Fireball. Facial expressions offer a vital intimacy to the hypnotic monotony, and emphasize the universal relationships of detachment.

The second video installation, Round the Block, transposes the focus from inside to out, in a lively and colorful Ugandan village. As the bus gradually thrusts us through the eerily cheerful marketplace, we are stirred by the mystery in the eyes of everyday people and the echoes of subtle poetry drifting from the speakers. There were no other people at the gallery to observe, but I did find Lee quite effective in drawing me into his unusual homage to the everyday.

Simon Lee: The Purpose of All Travel
Jan 11 t
o Feb 10, 2007
Roebling Hall :: 606 West 26th Street, New York, NY 10001 :: tel: 212 929 8180

whitehot gallery images, click a thumbnail.

Jemma Jorel

Jemma Jorel is a writer/artist/philosopher currently residing in the Hudson Valley. When she's not thinking or writing about important things, she's probably creating some new dance moves or exploring new territories. She also escapes cold weather whenever possible.

view all articles from this author