KRISTAN HORTON at Mercer Union (37 Lisgar) to December 10. 416-536-1519. Artist talk Sunday (November 27), 4 pm. Rating: NNNN
Imagine viewing all existence for all time in a single instant and point in space. Now stop, or it will hurt.
Kristan Horton 's All At Once makes brave baby steps toward capturing this giddy idea in three rough sculptures, freezing physical being in the fourth dimension and depicting motion in stillness. An abstract impressionist might see this as no more difficult than a bowel movement, but to pull it off figuratively strikes me as profound. Think of that trippy early video tracer effect, only conveyed as sculpture.
Made of foamcore and covered in black modelling clay, Bebida shows a man leaning forward to drink. His head and torso stretch to encompass the entire space this gesture occupies, yet you also see a long-headed, eight-armed monster.
Copo integrates 11 overlapping cups on a table into a single sculptural object. Using computer software, the artist cut and tweaked video of the cup in different positions and rendered it in 3-D. He sliced the virtual model into horizontal layers, printed them as stencils, fabricated each in pink Styrofoam and reassembled them with glue.
Horton's most engrossing piece does the same thing for a somersault. Using about 50 pink layers, Rolo shows the artist in five separate positions, yet all melded into one. From his knees, into a teddy bear stand, on his back, rolling forward and sitting up, he becomes a kind of orgy gone wrong (or really right?) when his multiple bodies start to merge. His head pushes into his crotch and his knees become shoulders, which become elbows, etc.
The results stretch a human form through compressed time and space and present it all in a single glance as computerized visual information. Freezing the fourth dimension ain't pretty, but Horton scores big points for pushing sculpture brilliantly into theoretical physics.