I’d never heard of Haris Purnomo until I received the email newsletter from CoCA a few days ago. In it, I saw a disturbing photo of an installation work I just had to go see; an installation which will be here in Seattle for scheduled viewings through August 26th, 2011, and then will be shipped off to the Saatchi Gallery in London. “Visitation” is comprised of 100 identical swaddled babies hanging vertically from fishing line, bayonets protruding perilously from beneath their swaddling. Each child’s face is identically marked with some sort of man-made pattern – a tattoo perhaps. The overall effect is equal parts ghostly, menacing, hard and yet innocent. As the subject swayed ever so slightly, lit from a couple spotlights on the ground, I swore I saw one of their eyes open. The subject matter demands to be grappled with.
Jan and I trucked over to Plume21 last night to catch the public opening of the showing and it definitely made my evening. From here on out, special arrangements have to be made to view the work but if any of you are interested in checking it out, I’d be happy to go view it again and make the booking. Drop me a message in the comments below or on my Facebook page and I’ll reach out to you so we can get something set up. I’d love to see your response to the piece.