The vaguely unsettling digital animations of Chantal Rousseau will share space with the architecturally inspired wood and metal sculptures of Kyle Butler in a pair of exhibitions opening Friday in Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center (341 Delaware Ave.).
Butler’s show, “Mortality Tantrums,” includes recent sculptures that use buildings and other common man-made structures as their inspiration. The central piece is a reproduction of a collapsing roof in the midst of being repaired, while another other piece is made up of chain-link fence material twisted into a new form. His work, which also will include drawings and videos, is concerned with the real and imagined links between manmade structures and man’s urge to control.
Rousseau’s exhibition, “Harbingers of Doom,” by contrast, plays out largely in the digital realm. Her animated GIFs – a viral form of digital art usually dedicated to “LOLcats” and celebrities – depict strange occurrences like a skull shooting lightning bolts or a woman squeezing a fish to no apparent purpose.
“They are all quite humorous at first, but in the short course of time, they suggest darker undercurrents,” wrote curator John Massier of Rousseau’s digital animations.
Both exhibitions open with a reception at 8 p.m. Friday and run through May 2. Call 854-1694 or visit www.hallwalls.org.
– Colin Dabkowski