The day after Thomas Hirschhorn’s tape, foil, and cardboard cave opens in Heart of Darkness, the exhibition Cameron Jamie closes, darkening another cave, Jamie’s Maps and Composite Actions. Well worth a visit–the show closes October 22–the gallery-sized installation is a steep path through a landscape made from chicken wire embedded with clay (sold only in Europe, it is used to make curved walls in housing construction, says Walker assistant curator Yasmil Raymond). The path is dark and so narrow that only one person, carrying a lantern, can experience it at a time. The entry and exit to this cave are the same, and at the bottom of the twisting, bumpy walk are drawings and collages of a distinctly Halloween flavor.
The work’s label explains that it’s part of an ongoing project by Jamie that started with a series of late-night performances in which the artist, dressed as a vampire, rode a horse through California’s San Fernando Valley or visited bars, strip clubs, and 24-hour convenience stores, picking fights with strangers:
There is no visual record of these actions, only the verbal testimonies of his accomplice, which were transcribed into text. This series of drawings, inspired by extracts from those unverifiable accounts and made by the artist in collaboration with a Parisian street-portrait artist and Dutch cartoonist Erik Wielaert, gives form to a ‘myth’ in the making.
The work is one of most arresting–thanks to the disorienting walk along a trail none to easy to navigate, and the eerie sense of discovery when you hold a lantern up to images mounted on precariously leaned boards–in a show that’s sparked a range of great responses (notably, the wide-ranging and thoughtful review “We Can Be Heroes” by Minneapolis sculptor Jeffrey Kalstrom). Did you experience it? If so, what did you think. If not, get to the Walker before Sunday to walk the winding path.