Nov 26, 2014
The Fall of Icarus
Daniel Savage (ACT)
Sawtooth ARI, New Media Gallery
3-25 October 2014
Review by: Brigitte Trobbiani
Photography by: Mel De Ruyter
For two of the four weeks that The Fall of Icarus was presented, I gallery sat in the Pop Up Gallery, listening to the sound track accompanying the video on loop for five hours.
And while I can admit that the looping of such an emotive and draining audio left me feeling detached during the day and contemplative, the audio itself helped to strengthen my interests within the piece itself. The Fall of Icarus directly references the Greek Myth of Icarus who flew too close to the sun. This is strong and evident from the minute the viewer experiences the video and relevant sound track. Continuing on the reference and use of metaphor is the influence of the artist’s own experience which perfectly captures the essence of Icarus’ own fall, an experience which was similarly experienced by Savage himself.
The artwork was both beautiful and haunting at once. Yet if the viewer hadn’t known about Savage’s experience and the immediacy of the project to his own accident, maybe they’d only think it were beautiful, or just haunting. The influence of knowing is impactful in any case when reflecting on artwork. This is obvious to both my studies in Contemporary Art and my interests within the industry. We learn and consider the influence of the artist’s own identity and how this is impactful and reflecting within the artwork itself. In Savages case, I wonder if had I experienced the piece prior to knowing, what and how I would perceive the piece itself.
On one of the Saturdays, a mother and her young daughter came through Sawtooth, slowly taking their time throughout the spaces and then finally back to the Pop Up Gallery where I was sitting. The girl of four or five asked me whether Savage was sleeping and whether the feathers were hurting him as they fell one by one onto his entire body. She continued suggesting that maybe he was sleeping and comfortable there.