Currently at the Frye Art Museum, a little more than half of the gallery space is dominated by Jessiea Kenney, a Washington based artist and musician. I attended the January 9th opening and I’m still trying to figure out how I feel about it. The bulk of the exhibit, entitled Anchor Zero, showcased Kenney’s singing in three large-scale video installations. The videos are black and white with a bunch of filters over the top that gives off kind of like a Grudge/Blair Witch Project spooky but mostly confusing vibe. The subject of the videos vary but were mostly water scenes, trees and Kenney walking across the screen. I frankly found the videos uninteresting. Kenney’s singing, I’m sure to people who are trained vocalist or are familiar with traditional East Asian singing, is very beautiful but to the untrained ear it sounded kind of just like noise. It was difficult to extrapolate any type of meaning from Kenney’s singing because it was either just tones or the lyrics are in a different language. And the videos that accompanied her singing did not astound me either. They did not impress me from a videography standpoint; there were no overtly impressive editing or filming techniques used. Neither did it impress me in terms of content. The videos did not generate any element of curiosity or suspense.
What was interesting were the other elements of the exhibit that accompanied the videos. There were some sketches done by Kenney that showed how she writes and arranges her music which was something I couldn’t understand but was very intrigued by. She also set up a bamboo box structure meant to be used for breathing exercises.
I suppose my take away from this exhibit was that it wasn’t for me. It was not something that I would see again nor suggest any of my friends (even my artist friends) to go see. But I don’t doubt Kenney’s talent or her worthiness of an exhibit this size, there were lots of people at the exhibit with the interest and patience to sit in front of those video absolutely immersed in what Kenney had created. If any part of what I have described here in this humble article has interested you I suggest you take a trip down to the Frye. Why not? It’s close to campus, it’s free and who knows maybe your taste in art is more refined than mine and you’ll find a beautiful take away from Jessica Kenney’s Anchor Zero.
Anchor Zero is open till February 1st.
Megan Castillo / KXSU Reporter / Rude Girl