Euan Macdonald: A Little Ramble

January 16 – April 17, 2010

Scotland-born, LA-based artist Euan Macdonald’s A Little Ramble was a rare solo exhibition at Western Bridge. The exhibition featured video, drawings, photographs, and new two newly commissioned works. “The idea of landscape is a thread that runs through all the work,” said Macdonald, not as a scene but as “a changing space to move through in time.”

The show’s centerpiece, A Little Ramble, 2010, brought a full scale replica of a mountaintop into Western Bridge. Realistically rendered by a local scene shop, the mountain is surmounted by a pair of taxidermied mountain goats, frozen in circulation on a looped path around the summit. The work takes its title from a short prose piece by Robert Walser (1878-1956) recounting a trek in the mountains, easily projected onto the landscape around Seattle. “I walked through the mountains today,” the account begins. “The weather was damp, and the entire region was gray.” The narrator limits himself to the observable, giving little indication of his interior state. The ending asserts the power of the mundane: “We don’t need to see anything out of the ordinary. We already see so much.”

A mountain encountered inside a gallery is clearly out of the ordinary, but the piece asserts itself as a commonplace despite its uncanniness. The extraordinary is expressed as if ordinary.

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