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because almost none of the principles were on hand last night for the 7:00 opening of Breathless, organized by painter Jackie Cooper for a space-in-transition at 608 Folsom. That was okay, as there was a lot of art to see. Sabina Ott’s video projection onto a sculpted, irridescent wall opened the show, a harbinger of the lively film/video program curated by Enid Baxter Blader. Colin Cook’s goofball New Age Hypnotism mesmerized me into sitting down for the program. Micol Hebron and Michael Dee were also represented by engaging shorts; I was too impatient to wait for Patty Chang’s Eels but it sounds promising. Hands down the most “breathless” piece was Joe Mangrum’s installation, a kind of ziggarut surrounded by hanging chains of bright green tribbles made of wheat grass. I never knew wheat grass could stink, but in the hot hot enclosure it was enthusiastically sucking oxygen and replacing it with noxious odors. Even that was okay, since the space featured viewing windows between rooms. I parked next door to contemplate the tribbles and found myself in Julia Gandrud’s film installation Grazing Unicorn, which was both a bonus and a tease. The titular beast appeared briefly around the edges of what otherwise seemed to be a meditation on aging film stock. Gandrud’s best piece, however, was in the back room, a trailing chain of delicate drawings (yes, another chain, mini-themes and cross-references like this cropped up throughout the show) called Home. Breathless is on view for one week, through July 3.

- Meredith Tromble [Friday, June 27th, 2003]

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