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"Colonial Walk" overwhelms

Minoosh Zomorodinia at Feast Arts Center

“Land Mark” paper sculpture with projection by Minoosh Zomorodinia. Photo credit: Alec Clayton

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Much as been written online and elsewhere about Minoosh Zomorodinia's "Colonial Walk," an art installation and gallery exhibition, parts of which are on display at Feast Arts Center. According to the gallery website, it is a project in process that investigates the relationship between the self and the natural environment, explaining: "Meditating on the ways immigrants can or cannot make home in the United States, Zomorodinia takes dérives (or psychogeographic walks) through nature, mapping her routes with geographical information systems (GIS) software and other programs. The videos taken along her routes are then reconstructed into abstract pathways, and are projected onto larger sculptural forms."

The dominant feature of the installation is a sculpture in paper, tape and wire of a geologic formation that stands about eight feet tall in the center of the room and upon which is projected images of rock formations. It is called "Land Mark." The structure is circular and open on one side so visitors can view it from all sides, inside and out. The projected images land on the sculpture and on the wall behind it - actually the front wall of the gallery, with windows covered. The projected image permeates the entire room with muted gray, pink and violet sunset colors and creates optical movement such as in moiré patterns. If you watch closely while someone steps inside this sculpture, you can see the walls close in on them. Whether this is an optical illusion or actual movement is debatable, but since it is made of light materials that hang from the ceiling, it is likely that the wind created by the entering body makes the walls move.

There is a dreamlike feel to the combined sculpture and video projection that is meditative and fascinating. It calls for close study of the many details from the grid pattern (which could be printed on or woven into the paper or projected onto it, it's impossible to tell which) to the changing colors and the interaction of huge and minute shapes both positive and negative.

If this central piece were the only thing in the exhibition, immersing oneself into the experience of walking around and into it would be a transportive experience in itself. But wait, there's more.  

On one wall is what appears at first glance to be a series of graphite drawings of jagged forms like crushed paper airplanes or abstract images of birds in flight done directly on the wall. It is called "Missile Map" -- a title that hints at a possible more sinister meaning. Upon close inspection, it is revealed to be a series of three-dimensional drawings in bent wire and paper strips suspended in front of the wall upon which are dark marks like pentimenti strokes that might be cast shadows or actual marks on the wall. As with the grids on "Land Mark," it is impossible to tell.

Also included are a small wall-hung sculpture with projected light images, a video, and a series of digital prints from similar sculptural pieces.

As indicated in wall texts and other sources, there is much meaning inherent in these pieces, which I'm not sure I fully comprehend, but for me it is enough that it is an almost overwhelming visual and sensory experience.

MINOOSH ZOMORODINIA'S "COLONIAL WALK," noon-4 p.m., Saturday; 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Sunday, and by appointment, through March 10, Feast Arts Center, 1402 S. 11th St., Tacoma, 

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