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Allan Packer

Front Room
2008-03-04

“suddenly there came a tapping, As of someone gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door” Edgar Allan Poe begins his most famous poem “The Raven” with the above lines. As America’s great Romantic writer he undoubtedly knew the long history of mystical and superstitious associations connected to these mysterious black birds. Allan Packer taps these allusions with his latest group of works at Front Room. “Corvus Corax”. With “Glacier” a black raven balances atop a backlit panel amidst a scattering of white Styrofoam rocks. Pass through the black curtain into gallery two and the temperature drops precipitously to near zero as you’re confronted with two more birds perched on an igloo of synthetic ice-blocks in the black-light glow of “Corvus Corax”. The show-stopper is “Celestial Clock”, a ceiling mounted mechanical device with several paired ravens, this time cast in translucent gem-like colors. They’re mounted on stainless steel rails circling every 60 seconds. The precision gears and spindles rotate these colorful sculptures endlessly with all the benign attraction of a medieval clockworks, a reference to corporality and the unstoppable chronometer of life, or as Poe might say: “Quoth the raven, ‘Nevermore.’”

—James Kalm
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