Street Art that Comes to Life
It seems like everywhere you turn in Richmond, you can always find a new art exhibit going up, a new mural being painted, or an advertisement for an upcoming art festival. On the night of November 14, I walked into the sculpture garden at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and was momentarily enchanted. Everywhere I looked, a luminous object peered back through the darkness. It was the final night of InLight Richmond. I had managed to pull myself out of a near-comatose state (brought on by too much Netflix), and I wanted to see what all the commotion was about.
I was immediately drawn in by Jacob Stanley’s Dielectric Bridge. I passed through a tunnel of light, once a cage bridge, and found myself on a path that took me past most of the exhibits. Some were quirky and fun, some were obvious, and others were designed to mold subconscious thoughts into sentient ones.
I made my way to Eva Rocha’s Object-Orientalis. It was haunting yet beautiful in a way removed from everyday thought. I joined the community that gathered around the exhibit and felt an air of understanding that was oddly ordinary. Among us were sixteen crates, each containing a holographic image of a naked woman. Clearly, they were trapped but also resigned, as if they knew escape were futile.
Each woman fidgeted while attempting to sleep. I was taken aback when one of them turned over, opened her eyes, and peered up at me. Women of all shapes, sizes, and skin tones moved within their confines, which not only made them seem more real, but also gave me a sudden sense of responsibility for them.
Each crate was filled with a different material, such as packing peanuts or sand. As the crowd slowly weaved through the exhibit, I saw a woman in her thirties push the sand into mounds, effectively morphing one of the holographic women into a curvier version of herself. Moments later, I saw a young girl walk by and smooth the woman’s body down to nothing. I realized that, beyond the bigger issue being portrayed, this was also an exercise in acceptance. InLightening indeed.
– Morgan Moore, 2 year resident of Richmond