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April 1st, 2004

Art Review: Wars and Dolls

by Oscar A. Alzate

“Wars and Dolls”

Installations by Samara Beth Sussman

Sounds of nature hummed all around me, medical masks cascaded from the seat of a stroller that hung by its handles from a ceiling pipe. Everywhere I turned environments that incorporated natural and industrial materials surrounded me. I was at Samara Beth Sussman’s exhibition in the Steuben East Gallery at Pratt Institute. The C Eule Dance Company-who rehearses at our very own Joyce Soho-performed throughout the space. The Soho Dancers improvised to the nature sounds while using parts of the surrounding installations as their stage and props. A piece called “Art-tillery” filled one room completely with drawings done right on the walls, branches, and metallic sculptures that related to the pungent foliage. Caron Eule and Carmen Smith improvised modern dance moves to the nature sounds rolling in and playing with the leaves like young forest nymphs. Viewers (which included the world renowned sculptor James Croak) became integrated into the multi-sensory experience as they sat on the indoor park benches to watch the performance.?Ǭ In another room Kyla Ernst-Alper (Battery Dance) and Edgar L. Peterson improvised sultry movements relating to the sculpted figures in “Infant-try”. As I walked outside after viewing this truly inventive exhibition, I was amused by how Ms. Sussman had skewed perception by bringing the outdoors inside, combining performance and installation art, thus creating a complete multi-sensory experience.

Oscar A. Alzate

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