“Spelunk” at Aurora Providence

On tonight’s agenda was a visit to Aurora Providence downtown to check out Spelunk: a cave party art show and trance dance. I was a little irked heading in because parking downtown can be a bit of a headache (should just take the bus to avoid the anger it induces), but the walk cooled me off. I heard about this exhibition from a Hera Member (Mike Yefko) who was participating and it sounded like a great chance to see something outside the usual gallery/museum circuit. Aurora is an interesting space as it’s a bar and music venue that hosts art exhibitions as well. I think that for the aura of the cave, it was a well chosen space for the audience to engage with. Heck they even had headlamps for us all to wear!

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While the walls predominantly held the painted work of Anonymous (not so Anonymous to this author however…), there was work from three other artists as well. Mike Yefko provided a ceiling installation, Carl Hirsch had sculptural work, and Christine Kim had costume design. I arrived just in time for the music to kick in. Whether or not it was the soundscape by Mortise and Tenon or music from Scribble I am not certain. All I know is that they were jamming out with some smooth tunes (Is that what the kids say these days? Meh.).

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When looking at the sculptural work I couldn’t help but start to ponder the effect of viewing the work as we view the cave paintings of prehistoric times. It brought a feeling that I could be some far flung future archaeologist on a dig studying our current societal remains. It’s a feeling I’ll find in old, abandoned buildings or out in abandoned towns in the desert.

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Perhaps we were all meant to be archaeologists spelunking in this temporal cave. It certainly provided an engaging way to experience the work, though a few pieces did feel a bit to clean for a cave. Then again, it was a contemporary cave and who’s to say that they wouldn’t be slightly cleaner than our prehistoric counterparts. I was certainly glad for the lack of bats and their guano.

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