Before sunrise?

You are west of me. I am east of you…

Excerpt of <i>You Are West of Me, I Am East of You. You Are East of Me, I Am West of You.</i>

Excerpt of You Are West of Me, I Am East of You. You Are East of Me, I Am West of You.

Say what you will about installation art, but you can&Rsquo;t deny its ability to provoke in ways traditional media cannot. And part of what makes installation art so intriguing for both artist and viewer is its complete lack of rules, whether freedom of media or subject.

This is what drew artist Natalie Rishe to the world of installation art. “I love the complexity of it, and the possibility for that much complexity: the possibility for movement, the possibility for the passage of time and the possibility of how things can change just by traveling through a space,” she explains.

In her new show at Block, You Are West of Me, I Am East of You, You Are East of Me, I Am West of You., Rishe explores some of these possibilities with her colleague, friend and collaborator Tamara Scronce. Taking inspiration from the gallery space itself, the two artists play on the way Block is split into two rooms. They’ve transformed one room into a night space, completely dark, with the only light source LED lights that generate a constellation on the ceiling. The other room is bright like a sunrise, a brilliant light source illuminating the entire room. The juxtaposition of these two rooms becomes a discourse, an atmospheric contemplation of the symbolic nature of sunrises and sunsets.

“There’s something really romantic in the notion of the constant in the sun always rising and the sun always setting and the promise of a new day and the promise that things will end. There’s a rhythm and a cycle to that,” Rishe explains.

There also will be a two-channel video playing side by side, one video capturing the sunrise from Rishe’s studio while facing Scronce’s house, the other capturing the sunset from Scronce’s studio facing Rishe’s. “Tamara and I look at each other and see a connection between where she’s been and where she’s ended up, and where I’m coming from and how I’m sort of following in her footsteps,” Rishe says.

But even as Rishe describes the various components that make up her show with Scronce, she seems reluctant to pigeonhole its concept. “I think it’s very hard to talk about work that is this nontraditional. There is nothing tangible and there is nothing that is easy to grasp onto, because it’s really a mood, an environment and an experience that we try to create.”